Technician gets jail for assaulting cyclist in road rage incident

Technician Derrick Chin Fook Heng was jailed for four weeks on Tuesday (July 4) for assaulting a cyclist in a road rage incident.
Technician Derrick Chin Fook Heng was jailed for four weeks on Tuesday (July 4) for assaulting a cyclist in a road rage incident. PHOTO: ST GRAPHICS

SINGAPORE - A technician was jailed for four weeks on Tuesday (July 4) for assaulting a cyclist in a road rage incident on June 19 last year.

Derrick Chin Fook Heng, 39, pleaded guilty to causing hurt to sales director Lee Meng Choon, 36, along Woodlands Road towards Bukit Panjang at around noon that day.

One count of mischief was taken into consideration during sentencing.

Chin was driving along the two-lane road with his wife in the passenger's seat when he spotted Mr Lee and three other cyclists on the left lane.

He drove behind them and sounded his horn as he was annoyed that they had occupied the entire lane.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Dora Tay said he overtook the four cyclists, drove in front of them and slowed his car down to a "glacial pace".

When Mr Lee attempted to overtake Chin's car on his right, the technician wound down his car window and berated the cyclist.

They quarrelled and Chin then edged his car towards their right, causing Mr Lee to move slowly towards the right lane and kerb.

He eventually cut across the cyclist's path diagonally and braked, forcing Mr Lee to stop as well.

DPP Tay added: "The accused wound down his car window and told (Mr Lee) that this is not his father's road and that since (Mr Lee) did not pay road tax, (he) should not be cycling and taking up the road space.

"The accused attempted to alight from his car. However, (Mr Lee) placed his hand on the driver's door to prevent the accused from opening the door as he thought that the accused would attack him."

Chin punched the right side of Mr Lee's face through the open car window and forcefully opened the driver's door. It hit the cyclist's leg and he fell to the ground.

Chin got out of his vehicle and hurled vulgarities at him. He grabbed Mr Lee's bicycle and flung it onto the ground, causing about $1,000 in damages.

The other cyclists told Chin to stop and leave but he refused. Instead, he challenged Mr Lee to a fight and kicked a road barrier in a show of strength.

When one of the cyclists tried to snap a photograph of the incident, Chin snatched her mobile phone away and threatened to throw it onto the ground.

His wife eventually managed to calm him down and he returned the cyclist's mobile phone before driving away.

Mr Lee, who suffered superficial injuries to his arms and legs, alerted the police. He did not seek medical attention, the court heard.

DPP Tay said Chin has since given Mr Lee $1,000 as compensation for damaging his bicycle.

She urged the court to jail Chin for four weeks, adding that he continued to be aggressive when the other cyclists tried to step in.

Chin's lawyer, Mr S.S. Dhillon, asked his his client to be given a lighter sentence.

He said Chin had acted out of character and was "deeply remorseful" for committing the offence.

For assaulting the cyclist, he could have been jailed for up to two years and fined up to $5,000.