Coronavirus: Elderly man who wanted to eat in void deck arrested after refusing to go home, shouting at police

The man had wanted to eat at a table at a void deck and refused to leave.
The man had wanted to eat at a table at a void deck and refused to leave.PHOTO: STOMP

SINGAPORE (STOMP) - An elderly man was arrested for disorderly behaviour after refusing to heed the advice of police officers and for shouting at them in Bendemeer on Tuesday (April 7), the first day that Covid-19 "circuit breaker" measures kicked in.

He had wanted to eat at a table in the void deck of Block 28 Bendemeer Road, and refused to leave, the police told Stomp.

Several Stomp contributors alerted the citizen journalism website to a video of the incident that shows the 71-year-old man, who was holding a bag of food, being handcuffed.

In response to a Stomp query, the police said officers who were on foot patrol at the block at around 11.40am came across a group of elderly people "gathering around two tables at the void deck".

A police spokesman said that police officers advised them to go home and not remain at the location. The group complied and left.

Shortly after, a 71-year-old man arrived with his packet lunch and wanted to eat at one of the tables. The officers advised him to return home to have his lunch and not loiter in public unnecessarily.

"The man refused to heed the police officers' advice and shouted at them. He remained uncooperative despite the officers' repeated advice for him to calm down and leave the place," said the spokesman.

The man was subsequently arrested for disorderly behaviour.

The police are investigating the matter.

They added in their statement: "Members of the public are advised to take the circuit-breaker measures seriously.

 
 
 
 

"Everyone should stay home and only go out for essential activities. Everyone must play their part for the circuit breaker to be effective."

As part of new Covid-19 circuit-breaker measures in effect from Tuesday to May 4, dining in at food and beverage outlets is no longer allowed. However, people can still buy food to take away or use food delivery services.

All social gatherings of any size in both private and public spaces have also been banned under a new Bill passed in Parliament on Tuesday.