SINGAPORE - A 45-year-old man who is believed to have assaulted a bus driver while drunk on Thursday (Jan 5) has been arrested, the police said.
At 11.49pm on Thursday, the police received a report that a bus driver was assaulted by a male passenger at Bukit Merah Bus Interchange. The bus driver had sought help from his colleagues at the bus interchange, and a security officer assisted to detain the suspect who was arrested upon police’s arrival, the police said in a release on Saturday (Jan 7).
Preliminary investigations revealed that the suspect, believed to have been drunk, had assaulted the bus driver after the latter had tried to wake him up to alight the bus.
In a Facebook post on Friday, MP Melvin Yong said the bus driver suffered facial injuries and is currently on medical leave.
The attack late on Thursday night was the fourth reported attack on a bus driver in two weeks.
SBS Transit said in a statement that its bus captain, who was driving service 139, was trying to wake the sleeping man after the bus arrived at the Bukit Merah interchange.
He turned aggressive and assaulted the bus captain, the statement added.
Mr Yong, who is executive secretary of the National Transport Workers' Union (NTWU), said the union is thankful that SBS Transit responded quickly to help the injured bus captain.
"Such unprovoked acts of violence cannot be condoned," he wrote, adding that he will raise the matter at the Public Transport Tripartite Committee.
"Let us all join hands to provide our public transport workers with a safer environment to perform their duties to the best of their abilities!" he said.
The suspect will be charged with the offence of Voluntarily Causing Hurt under Section 323 of the Penal Code, Chapter 224 and Drunkenness in Public under Section 14(2) of the Liquor Control Act.
If convicted of Voluntarily Causing Hurt, the suspect will be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine which may extend to $5,000, or with both.
If convicted of drunkenness in public, the suspect will be punished with a fine not exceeding $1,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to both if he is a first-time offender. Repeat offenders will be liable to a fine not exceeding $2,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to both.
On New Year's Eve afternoon, three bus drivers were assaulted while they were on duty.
The assailant is suspected to be the same person and a police report was filed.