SINGAPORE - A Hong Kong-based director of an international headhunting firm was drunk when he assaulted a police officer outside a nightclub in Clarke Quay, a district court heard.
Briton Alex Arrash Ariana, 34, who frequently travels to Singapore for work, was jailed for three months on Monday (Sept 18) after admitting to grabbing Staff Sergeant Ivan Chen Tianxiang's neck and punching him on the face outside Zouk at River Valley Road at about 4.30am on April 29, 2017.
A second charge of using abusive words on the 30-year-old officer outside Tanglin station's report lodging room was considered during sentencing.
The court heard that staff sergeants Chen and Dion Sng Yong Quan were approached by another officer over an argument Ariana had with the security manager of the club.
When the two officers saw Ariana trying to get into an ambulance parked outside the club, one of them stopped him and told him to "relax". Ariana told Staff Sgt Sng not to touch him.
Staff Sgt Chen then approached Ariana and directed him to move to the side, but he refused.
The victim told Ariana to behave, and asked for his identification. Ariana accused the victim of being aggressive, and tried to push him away. Ariana also grabbed the victim's left wrist.
Ariana resisted when the officers tried to arrest him. The victim then fell to the ground.
"While the police officers tried to pin him down to the floor, the accused grabbed the victim by the neck using his right hand," Deputy Public Prosecutor Chong Kee En said.
Ariana then punched the victim on his face, above his left eye. When the Brit got up and tried to walk away, four police officers pinned him down.
Ariana struggled violently and was handcuffed. He continued directing vulgarities at the police officers while saying repeatedly: "I can't breathe! I can't breathe!"
While in the patrol car, he said he wanted to leave and offered to pay $10,000 to the court.
Ariana's blood alcohol level was 94mg/100ml. By way of comparison, the limit for drink driving is 80mg/100ml.
He had admitted to consuming six to eight cocktails earlier.
The victim suffered swelling and bruising over the left eye, abrasions over the left elbow and was given four days' medical leave.
In their mitigation plea, Ariana's lawyers from Withers KhattarWong, Ms Tania Chin and Jeremy Pereira, said that their client was desperately trying to seek medical help from paramedics after he noticed an ambulance parked outside Zouk.
In his intoxicated state, he was unable to properly communicate to the police officer that he had difficulty breathing and needed medical attention immediately, they said.
Ms Chin said her client committed the offence "in a moment of frenzied panic" and suffered injuries including abrasions and bruising on his arms during the incident.
Ariana could have been jailed for up to seven years, fined, caned or received any combined punishment for causing hurt to a police officer in the discharge of his duty.