Man jailed for hurting auxiliary cop, NEA officer

Cleaner committed the acts after being issued a summons for smoking in void deck

Barely a year after his release from preventive detention for robbery with hurt, a man caused hurt to a Cisco auxiliary police officer and a National Environment Agency (NEA) officer whose colleague had issued him a summons for smoking in an unauthorised area.

NEA enforcement officer Gugan Santhirasakaran, 24, and his colleague Salvin Kaur Mindar Singh, 23, saw Ramasamy Soogumar, 59, a school cleaner, smoking a cigarette while drinking beer in the void deck of Block 676, Hougang Avenue 8, at 7.05pm on May 30 this year. There was a "no smoking sign" 3m away.

After identifying themselves, Ms Kaur, an NEA authorising officer, wrote up a notice for Ramasamy to attend court for smoking in the void deck.

Ramasamy then hurled vulgarities in Tamil at Mr Gugan, bumped into him using his chest and slapped the NEA officer in the face.

Sergeant Christian Tan Kai Jun, 21, who was on a routine patrol in Ang Mo Kio with his partner, then spotted the two NEA personnel calling for assistance.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Sarah Shi said that when the two police officers tried to interview Ramasamy, the cleaner tried to leave.

He then repeatedly tried to confront Mr Gugan in the presence of the police officers. They stopped him and told him to sit. Ramasamy raised his hand towards Staff Sergeant Lionel Tan Wei Ming's face but was told to stop.

Undeterred, he tried to move towards Mr Gugan. Sgt Christian Tan put out his hand to restrain him. Ramasamy raised his hand and slapped Sgt Tan's hand away.

He then proceeded to threaten Mr Gugan in Tamil by saying, among other things, "You watch out. I will deal with you" and that the victim would "die" at his hands.

Yesterday, Ramasamy was sentenced to six months and four weeks in jail after admitting to the three offences. Pleading for leniency, his lawyer Harjeet Kaur told District Judge Imran Abdul Hamid that her client uttered the words because of his intoxicated state.

Ramasamy had previous convictions for disorderly behaviour, using abusive language and robbery with hurt. He was released in June last year after serving an 11-year, 12-stroke sentence.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 12, 2017, with the headline 'Man jailed for hurting auxiliary cop, NEA officer'. Print Edition | Subscribe