Eight charged with abusing police officers

Amorti Jeremy Lee Yi Long Yu Changhai Desmond Choo Choon Piu Zhu Hongyan allegedly assaulted police officers near an HDB block in January, while Cheryl Sng Yu Qin is accused of kicking two people at a flat in May and hurling vulgarities at police off
Zhu Hongyan (above) allegedly assaulted police officers near an HDB block in January, while Cheryl Sng Yu Qin is accused of kicking two people at a flat in May and hurling vulgarities at police officers who came to investigate.PHOTOS: SHIN MIN
Amorti Jeremy Lee Yi Long Yu Changhai Desmond Choo Choon Piu Zhu Hongyan allegedly assaulted police officers near an HDB block in January, while Cheryl Sng Yu Qin is accused of kicking two people at a flat in May and hurling vulgarities at police off
Zhu Hongyan allegedly assaulted police officers near an HDB block in January, while Cheryl Sng Yu Qin (above) is accused of kicking two people at a flat in May and hurling vulgarities at police officers who came to investigate.PHOTOS: SHIN MIN
Amorti Jeremy Lee Yi Long Yu Changhai Desmond Choo Choon Piu Zhu Hongyan allegedly assaulted police officers near an HDB block in January, while Cheryl Sng Yu Qin is accused of kicking two people at a flat in May and hurling vulgarities at police off
Amorti PHOTOS: SHIN MIN
Amorti Jeremy Lee Yi Long Yu Changhai Desmond Choo Choon Piu Zhu Hongyan allegedly assaulted police officers near an HDB block in January, while Cheryl Sng Yu Qin is accused of kicking two people at a flat in May and hurling vulgarities at police off
Jeremy Lee Yi LongPHOTOS: SHIN MIN
Amorti Jeremy Lee Yi Long Yu Changhai Desmond Choo Choon Piu Zhu Hongyan allegedly assaulted police officers near an HDB block in January, while Cheryl Sng Yu Qin is accused of kicking two people at a flat in May and hurling vulgarities at police off
Yu Changhai PHOTOS: SHIN MIN
Amorti Jeremy Lee Yi Long Yu Changhai Desmond Choo Choon Piu Zhu Hongyan allegedly assaulted police officers near an HDB block in January, while Cheryl Sng Yu Qin is accused of kicking two people at a flat in May and hurling vulgarities at police off
Desmond Choo Choon Piu PHOTOS: SHIN MIN

They allegedly turned on officers who showed up to investigate offences, with some even assaulting them

Their ages range from 21 to 66, and their offences took place at different places - over a period stretching from January to October this year - but all eight people charged in court yesterday have one thing in common: They allegedly vented their ire at police officers by hurling obscenities at them and, in some cases, even assaulting them.

Six of those who faced charges yesterday are men and two are women. In most of the cases, they are said to have turned on the officers who showed up to investigate offences involving them.

Zhu Hongyan, a 35-year-old Chinese national, had been shouting at the top of his voice near Block 106 in Lorong 1 Toa Payoh at 2am on Jan 28, when some officers arrived at the scene.

Zhu is then said to have kicked Sergeant Muhammad Faris Rosli in the chest, and turned on Sergeant Tan Han Rong, who was arresting him. Zhu is accused of pushing Sgt Tan, hurling vulgarities at him and kicking him in the jaw.

He also allegedly headbutted Sergeant Marcus Loo Hui Long.

Among those charged yesterday, 33-year-old Cheryl Sng Yu Qin faced the most number of charges - eight.

In September, Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam said cases of abuse against Home Team officers have been on the rise. He highlighted that attacks on them had increased by more than 65 per cent between 2014 and last year. There were 484 cases last year, which amounted to more than one case of physical or verbal abuse each day.

Sng, a Singaporean, had been accused of kicking two people - one in the legs and another in the chest - on the evening of May 11 at a flat in Block 200, Toa Payoh North.

She is then said to have directed her anger at four police officers who arrived later at the scene.

Sng hurled vulgarities at all of them. When an officer was recording a statement from one of the people whom she had allegedly assaulted earlier, Sng tore up the statement.

The other cases followed a similar pattern. A 66-year-old man, Lee Kun Chuen, who had been hurling vulgarities in the corridor of a block in Woodlands Crescent on Aug 22, then allegedly shouted obscenities at the officers who showed up to speak to him.

Another woman, Amorti, 42, allegedly kicked out at an officer and hurled vulgarities at her colleague at 2.53am at a void deck in Eunos Crescent on Aug 6.

Meanwhile, 21-year-old Muhamad Yahya Yatim, who had escaped from custody on April 12 after being detained for robbery with hurt, is accused of attacking the officers who caught up with him on June 24 near Chai Chee Street.

The others charged yesterday for their verbal or physical attacks on police officers were Jeremy Lee Yi Long, 22, Yu Changhai, 43, and Desmond Choo Choon Piu, also 43.

Most of the eight people charged yesterday will be back in court next month.

On Tuesday, the police said in a statement that they take a serious view against people who obstruct officers from carrying out their duties.

In September, Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam said cases of abuse against Home Team officers have been on the rise. He highlighted that attacks on them had increased by more than 65 per cent between 2014 and last year.

There were 484 cases last year, which amounted to more than one case of physical or verbal abuse each day.

Mr Shanmugam added that the Ministry of Home Affairs was working with the Attorney-General's Chambers to press for harsher deterrent sentences for those who obstruct officers from carrying out their duties, especially if they do so in violent way.

Offenders convicted of assaulting police officers can be jailed for up to seven years and fined or caned for each charge.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 30, 2017, with the headline 'Eight charged with abusing police officers'. Print Edition | Subscribe