Man on drugs pushed cop - causing officer to fall, suffer bleeding in brain

The incident occurred at about 9am on Aug 4, 2017. One of the police officers was pushed to the ground so hard that he suffered bleeding in the brain.
The incident occurred at about 9am on Aug 4, 2017. One of the police officers was pushed to the ground so hard that he suffered bleeding in the brain. PHOTOS: SCREENGRABS FROM FACEBOOK

A man went on a drug-addled rampage last year while resisting arrest and pushed one police officer to the ground so hard that the officer suffered bleeding in the brain.

Another officer fractured his left thumb during the incident on Aug 4 at about 9am.

Yesterday, Ampalagam Alagu, 42, was sentenced to a total of eight years and two months in jail and ordered to be given six strokes of the cane. He pleaded guilty to seven charges, including for drug-related offences. Four other charges were taken into consideration.

His sentence included 14 months' jail for hurting a public servant in the course of his duty and rash driving. He will be disqualified from driving for a year after his release.

The court heard that Ampalagam was sitting on his motorcycle at the void deck of Block 406 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 10 with the engine running.

Senior Station Inspector Guok Joong Yin, Corporal Galvin Tey and Special Constable Hung Yung Wei approached him after a resident reported that a motorcyclist had been riding his bike at the void deck.

The officers told him to switch off the engine but Ampalagam ignored them and revved it instead. While trying to ride away, he almost rammed into Cpl Tey. Ampalagam then lost control of his motorcycle and collided into a concrete bench.

 
 

He made a run for it but was caught by the three officers. During the ensuing struggle, he hit Cpl Tey on his left hand and arm.

When he pushed Senior Station Insp Guok on the chest, the officer fell to the ground and momentarily lost consciousness. Ampalagam also punched Special Constable Hung, bruising him in the mouth.

After Ampalagam was arrested, officers found his bag, which contained a packet of substance, later determined to be morphine. His urine samples also tested positive for morphine and he admitted to having taken it a day earlier.

Senior Station Insp Guok suffered contusions to his brain and needed 23 days of medical leave. Cpl Tey fractured his left thumb and was given a week's medical leave.

Ampalagam has a drug history and was put under compulsory supervision for two years in June 2016. Although he was required to undergo monthly urine tests, he failed to show up on 13 occasions and did not provide valid reasons.

His lawyer A. Revi Shanker said he was under the influence of drugs when the incident happened and did not mean to injure the officers.

But District Judge Shaiffudin Saruwan said during his sentencing: "You cannot use intoxication to excuse your actions."

Noting the missed urine tests, the judge said Ampalagam refuses to learn from his mistakes.

"It's very fortuitous that not more serious injuries were suffered by the police officers," he added.

The minimum sentence for misuse of drugs is seven years' jail and six strokes of the cane. For voluntarily causing hurt to a public servant, Ampalagam could have been sentenced to seven years' jail, and fined or caned, or both.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 24, 2018, with the headline 'Man on drugs pushed cop - causing officer to fall, suffer bleeding in brain'. Print Edition | Subscribe