2-year-old boy rescued after police broke into Sembawang flat following 17-hour stand-off; man and boy's mother arrested

Police officers arrested the man who had locked himself in a Sembawang flat with a two-year-old boy after a 17-hour stand-off.
Police officers arrested the man who had locked himself in a Sembawang flat with a two-year-old boy after a 17-hour stand-off.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN
The man is placed in a police car shortly after his arrest.
The man is placed in a police car shortly after his arrest.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN
Police officers cordoning off the area from the public at Block 462, Sembawang Drive.
Police officers cordoning off the area from the public at Block 462, Sembawang Drive.ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN
Sembawang GRC MP Lim Wee Kiak (in blue) at the scene of the incident.
Sembawang GRC MP Lim Wee Kiak (in blue) at the scene of the incident.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN
Sembawang GRC MP Lim Wee Kiak speaks to the press at the scene of the incident.
Sembawang GRC MP Lim Wee Kiak speaks to the press at the scene of the incident.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN
Onlookers surveying the scene at Block 462, Sembawang Drive.
Onlookers surveying the scene at Block 462, Sembawang Drive.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

SINGAPORE - A 17-hour stand-off between police and a man who had locked himself in a Sembawang flat with a two-year-old boy ended at noon on Wednesday (Sept 28) when police broke into the fifth floor unit. 

The 39-year-old man was arrested for wrongful confinement and drug-related offences, while the boy - who was unharmed - is now in the custody of the authorities. 

The boy's mother, who was involved in an alleged dispute with the man before the stand-off occurred, was also arrested at the scene for drug-related offences. 

Officers from Special Operations Command broke into the unit at 12.03pm, police said in an update on its Facebook page. 

The dramatic stand-off at Block 462, Sembawang Drive, started when police received a call at 6.44pm on Tuesday. 

The Straits Times understands that the man and the boy's mother are friends. 


The man (on the boot of the car) is placed in a police car shortly after his arrest. ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN


The man (in white shirt) who locked himself in the flat can be seen standing behind the gate. ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN


The situation at Block 462, Sembawang Drive on Wednesday (Sept 28). ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

A resident of the block, Mr Adam Bhai, 33, a personal trainer, said he heard the loud cries of a child coming from the flat at around 8pm.

"The man refused to open the door to police," a police spokesman had said.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said that it set up a safety life air pack at the foot of the block on Tuesday evening.

SCDF also dispatched a fire engine, a red rhino, two fire bikes, an ambulance, and three support vehicles.

Its Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team was also put on standby.

The child has been placed in safe care temporarily, said the Ministry of Social and Family Development, and it will work with the family and professionals in ensuring his safety and well-being.

Sembawang GRC MP Lim Wee Kiak, who was at the scene earlier, said the police had been working hard to negotiate with the man and their most pressing concern was the safety of both the individual and the child.

He said they were trying to resolve the family dispute and based on database checks, the family was not on the Government's ComCare financial assistance.

Dr Lim said the mother has three other children, who are with their grandmother in Woodlands.