Police, SCDF in 2-hour stand-off with man in flat

SCDF officers (above) on stand-by outside the Punngol Walk unit yesterday, where the man had locked himself inside after allegedly threatening to burn down the flat.
SCDF officers (above) on stand-by outside the Punngol Walk unit yesterday, where the man had locked himself inside after allegedly threatening to burn down the flat. ST PHOTOS: ONG WEE JIN
SCDF officers on stand-by outside the Punngol Walk unit yesterday, where the man (above) had locked himself inside after allegedly threatening to burn down the flat.
SCDF officers on stand-by outside the Punngol Walk unit yesterday, where the man (above) had locked himself inside after allegedly threatening to burn down the flat.ST PHOTOS: ONG WEE JIN

He is arrested after allegedly wielding knife, threatening to set fire to unit

A man who had allegedly been wielding a knife and threatening to set fire to his flat was arrested yesterday after a stand-off that lasted more than two hours.

Dozens of neighbours gathered near the eighth-floor Punggol Walk unit as officers outside tried to calm down the 42-year-old, who had locked himself inside.

The Straits Times understands that he had poured alcohol around the unit.

Two safety life air packs were placed on the ground outside.

The episode ended with police persuading him to open the door and arresting him on suspicion of criminal intimidation.

The Straits Times understands the man's father called the police after receiving a text message from his son saying that he had wanted to burn down their home following a dispute between them.

Police received a call for assistance at Block 211B, Punggol Walk, at about 1.15pm. The Singapore Civil Defence Force sent a fire engine, a Red Rhino, three support vehicles and an ambulance to the scene.

When The Straits Times arrived at the scene, neighbours were seen crowding at the ground floor and seventh-storey corridor as police officers spoke with the man.

The Straits Times understands that the Singaporean has a history of mental illness.

A man believed to be his father was at the scene but declined to speak to the media.

Neighbours said they heard arguments from the unit at about 11pm the night before.

Electrical engineer Ang Teow Lee, 53, who lives on the floor below, said: "I heard a man and a woman quarrelling in Hokkien but it was none of my business, so I went to sleep. When I woke up from my nap this afternoon around 2pm, I saw so many police officers around. It was scary."

Neighbours believe the arrested man lives in the unit with his parents.

Retiree Lim Que Eng, 65, who regularly visits her daughter, who lives on the eighth floor, said the man's father had told her that his son was "unwell". Police are investigating the incident.


Correction note: A previous version of this article stated that the man is 40 years old. He is actually 42.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 13, 2016, with the headline 'Police, SCDF in 2-hour stand-off with man in flat'. Print Edition | Subscribe