SINGAPORE - Like a hero, he stepped in when he saw his drinking buddy arguing with a man sitting nearby at a hawker centre at Chinatown Complex.
But not content with just using words, Chew Chue, alias Chew Kok Wah, 75, picked up a beer bottle and used it to hit Lewis Ng Soon Leong, 41, over the head.
Ng, who suffered superficial head injuries, then retaliated and smashed a beer bottle on Chew's head, causing cuts on his face.
Ng's three friends then attacked the senior citizen in an alcohol-fuelled brawl which caused mayhem at the hawker centre.
Onlookers tried to break up the fight, which grew increasingly chaotic as beer bottles, plastic plates and plastic chairs were thrown about, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Gail Wong.
Other patrons suffered injuries as well, including one man who was hit by a flying beer bottle.
On Friday (May 11), Ng and his three friends - Teo Teck Chim, 37; Kang Peng Chye, 38; Chua Han Tiong, 40 - pleaded guilty to causing hurt to Chew.
Ng was jailed for 10 weeks while his three friends were each given six weeks behind bars. Chew's case is still pending.
The drama happened at about 10.30pm on May 9 last year. Ng went to the hawker centre with his wife, to join his three friends for drinks.
His friends had been consuming alcohol for a few hours by then.
About five minutes after they arrived, his wife stood up and said that a man who was seated nearby had spat on the floor and it nearly hit her. Ng confronted the man and an argument broke out.
DPP Wong said that Chew, who was the man's acquaintance, became agitated when he overheard the argument.
He had also been drinking alcohol that evening.
Chew suffered injuries, including a broken nose and facial wounds, as a result of the brawl.
Calling the case one of "brute violence", DPP Wong said that even though Chew had initiated the fight, the four men's response had been "wholly disproportionate".
She added that the brawl erupted in a public place and had caused public disquiet.
Lawyer Josephus Tan, who represented Ng and his three friends, said that his clients' behaviour was in response to Chew's initial attack.
Before handing out the sentence on Friday, District Judge Hamidah Ibrahim noted that Chew was the initial aggressor. However, the four men could have restrained themselves, she added.