Jail, fine for LTA warden who fought with Uber driver

Tan was jailed for a day and fined a total of $2,000 for his violent spat with an Uber driver at a taxi stand at Bugis Junction.

A former Land Transport Authority traffic warden, who got into a fight with an Uber driver at a taxi stand at Bugis Junction last year, was jailed for a day and fined a total of $2,000 yesterday.

Tan Hock Guan, 51, had earlier admitted to fighting with Goh Kok Ling and verbally abusing the 60-year-old in Hokkien, with intent to cause him distress, in Victoria Street on Nov 27 last year.

Goh's next pre-trial conference will take place on Monday.

The court heard that Tan was at a taxi stand at Bugis Junction that evening when he saw Goh's vehicle stopping there, and directed him not to do so as the stand was meant for cabs.

He signalled to Goh to go to the pick-up/drop-off point, a short distance away, instead.

Unhappy, Goh told Tan to speak to his passenger, who wanted to be picked up from the taxi stand. They had an exchange of words and the passenger got into Goh's vehicle.

Tan then took a photo of Goh's car and turned away to monitor other vehicles. Goh alighted and pushed Tan on his shoulder from behind. Tan told Goh not to lay hands on him, and added that he had recorded a video and that Goh could expect action to be taken against him. Goh allegedly then uttered a Hokkien vulgarity and Tan did likewise.

Tan also punched Goh once on the abdomen. They traded punches and Goh slipped and fell to the ground. Tan also kicked Goh.

A passer-by broke up the fight. Goh got up and moved towards Tan again but was stopped by the passer-by.

When Tan moved to the other side of the taxi stand, Goh followed and confronted him. Tan then punched him and both started fighting again. They were separated by the same passer-by.

Goh had bruises on his chest and abrasion over his left jaw. Two teeth were also knocked out. Tan, who was arrested on Nov 28, had an abrasion over his left knee.

Calling for at least a day's jail and a fine for the affray charge, Deputy Public Prosecutor Daphne Lim said Tan was doing enforcement duties when he got caught up with the Uber driver in a mutual display of disorderly aggression.

She said Tan had thrown the first punch after uttering vulgarities at the driver. Many onlookers who saw the incident would have been shocked, she added.

Tan, who said he did part-time work after losing his job, could have been jailed for up to one year and fined up to $5,000 for affray. The other offence is punishable with a $5,000 fine and six months' jail.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 28, 2016, with the headline Jail, fine for LTA warden who fought with Uber driver. Subscribe