Drunk man who slashed 2 diners gets jail, caning

He attacked victims after being told to leave hawker centre where he had started a ruckus

Unhappy with a diner who confronted him for creating a ruckus near Changi Village Hawker Centre, a drunk man slashed his victim's right thigh with the blade of a nail clipper, causing a wound that needed 11 stitches. Amos Zechariah also slashed a second man's right forearm, damaging an artery.

The 38-year-old man, who pleaded guilty to two counts each of causing hurt with a weapon and performing a rash act, was jailed for 27 months and six weeks for these offences and given 12 strokes of the cane. One count each of being a public nuisance, being in possession of a weapon and using criminal force on a third man was considered during sentencing.

The court heard that Zechariah had downed at least two bottles of rice wine and was drunk when he started loitering around Changi Village at around 7.20pm on Jan 13.

Two friends - Mr Muhammad Fadhli Zulkepli, 29, and Mr Mohammad Ridzuan Zainal Abidin, 30 - were at the nearby hawker centre when they saw him shouting and scolding passers-by.

The Straits Times had reported in January, quoting an eyewitness, that Zechariah was seen throwing plates at children, spitting onto the ground and stealing food from patrons.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Kong Kuek Foo said: "As the accused was near Fadhli's children, Fadhli approached the accused, and asked him not to create trouble, and to leave the food centre. Consequently, the accused felt unhappy with Fadhli."

The two friends were leaving the place about 20 minutes later when Zechariah confronted them with the 5cm-long blade. He slashed Mr Fadhli's right thigh before attacking Mr Ridzuan, wounding his right forearm. The men and several passers-by managed to pin Zechariah to the ground. The police were alerted and he was arrested at around 8.30pm.

ST had reported at the time that blood was seen splattered on the floor at the popular dining spot after the incident. The victims went to Changi General Hospital and a medical report stated that Mr Ridzuan's wound needed radial artery repair. He was discharged on Jan 15. Mr Fadhli suffered various injuries including a thigh wound that was about 7cm long. It needed 11 stitches, the court heard.

Besides this incident, Zechariah created a ruckus at a coffeeshop at Kaki Bukit Road at around 2.30pm on Nov 22 last year. He was asking for money from diners and flew into a rage after a chef asked him to stop scaring customers away.

He smashed a beer mug against a table, then picked up a second mug and flung it towards the middle of the coffeeshop, causing glass fragments to fly in all directions.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 05, 2018, with the headline 'Drunk man who slashed 2 diners gets jail, caning'. Print Edition | Subscribe