Teens allegedly behind graffiti at roof-top of Toa Payoh block charged with vandalism

Five teenagers, arrested in connection with the high-rise vandalism at the rooftop of a Toa Payoh HDB block on Wednesday, were charged for the offence on Saturday. -- ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
Five teenagers, arrested in connection with the high-rise vandalism at the rooftop of a Toa Payoh HDB block on Wednesday, were charged for the offence on Saturday. -- ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
Five teenagers, arrested in connection with the high-rise vandalism at the rooftop of a Toa Payoh HDB block on Wednesday, were charged for the offence on Saturday. -- ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
Five teenagers, arrested in connection with the high-rise vandalism at the rooftop of a Toa Payoh HDB block on Wednesday, were charged for the offence on Saturday. -- ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

Five teenagers, arrested in connection with the high-rise vandalism at the rooftop of a Toa Payoh HDB block on Wednesday, were charged for the offence on Saturday.

The 17-year-old boys, who face charges of vandalism with common intention for the incident at Block 85A, Lorong 4 Toa Payoh, have been remanded for a week for further investigations at Tanglin Police Division.

Goh Rong Liang, David William Graaskov, Chay Nam Shen, Boaz Koh Wen Jie and Reagan Tan Chang Zhi - all Singaporeans - were brought to the State Courts on Saturday morning after they were nabbed by the police on Friday - just two days after a report over the incident was lodged.

If convicted, the boys could each be jailed for up to three years or fined up to $2,000, and receive at least three strokes of the cane.

The incident came to light early Wednesday morning when a series of spray-painted red graffiti across the walls of the rooftop of an HDB block in Toa Payoh was spotted by residents.

People were first drawn to it when a group of police officers responding to the incident were spotted at the foot of the block. The police said at the time that they received a call about the case at 6.47am.

Photos of the act of vandalism, with four-letter expletives seemingly directed at the People's Action Party and the police, quickly went viral online that morning. The vandal appeared to have signed off with the name "Mike Cool".

By 11.30am, all the graffiti had been painted over by Bishan-Toa Payoh Town Council.

The incident, however, raised questions over the security of HDB rooftops.

PAP Town Councils coordinating chairman, Dr Teo Ho Pin, in a letter to The Straits Times Forum sought to assure residents that its town councils have taken measures to tighten rooftop security.

"The security protocols were developed and adopted in consultation with the police and PUB," said Dr Teo in the letter published on Saturday. "A roof access standard operating procedure was also drawn up to reinforce this importance. Our property officers on site will continue to conduct regular checks on these areas through scheduled inspections. I assure residents that PAP town councils take a serious view on the security of our roof access."

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