Police detain man wielding scissors at Bedok Mall

A broken scanner at a G2000 shop in Bedok Mall on Dec 27, 2017.
A broken scanner at a G2000 shop in Bedok Mall on Dec 27, 2017. ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE
The aftermath in The Body Shop at Bedok Mall on Dec 27, 2017.
The aftermath in The Body Shop at Bedok Mall on Dec 27, 2017. ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

What was meant to be a normal evening for shoppers and shopkeepers at Bedok Mall took a frightening turn yesterday when a man wielding a pair of scissors caused a scramble for safety.

Police said in a Facebook update that they have arrested an 18-year-old man who was holding a pair of scissors and "causing trouble" in the mall. "The man who has a history of mental health problems has been arrested for public nuisance. Police investigations are ongoing," the police said.

No one was injured. Witnesses said the incident occurred at about 5.45pm. The man went into some shops, where he messed up things while brandishing his scissors. He was eventually pinned down and restrained by a small group of people in watch shop H2 Hub .

Bedok Mall's General Manager Mustafa Abdul Rahim said the mall is helping the police in their investigations.

Madam Joyce Woo, who works in H2 Hub, said: "When he came in, there were already quite a lot of people going after him, trying to stop him. Later, some people tackled him and he just laid down and did not move."

Among those who helped pin the man down were two security officers and an off-duty policeman.

Fewer than 10 shops were affected. They will resume business tomorrow. Watches of Japan staff Richard Ng, 57, said he heard the man shouting gibberish and he quickly brought the shop's standee in, but forgot to keep a vase on the counter. "He pushed the vase and broke it as he walked past us," he said.

The Body Shop's boutique manager Vivien Yang, 36, estimated that the damage was about $500. "He came in and pushed some things down, like the small items and a stand. Luckily, he left soon after. We were all hiding in the corner, it was quite frightening."

The maximum penalty for public nuisance is a $1,000 fine.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 28, 2017, with the headline 'Police detain man wielding scissors at Bedok Mall'. Print Edition | Subscribe