Man accused of stabbing safe distancing enforcement officer charged with attempted murder

Ahirrudin Al-Had Haji Arrifin, who has a medical history at the Institute of Mental Health, will be remanded for psychiatric assessment for three weeks. PHOTOS: SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE

SINGAPORE - A 61-year-old man, accused of attacking a safe distancing enforcement officer with a sharp instrument on Monday (May 4) amid the coronavirus outbreak, has been charged with attempted murder.

Appearing before a district court on Wednesday via videoconferencing, Singaporean Ahirrudin Al-Had Haji Arrifin is accused of attacking the National Parks Board (NParks) officer with a knife that day, seriously injuring the latter's chest, arm and hand.

Ahirrudin, who was seen with a gauze on his forehead, is also charged with possessing offensive weapons such as a 14cm-long knife blade, and two Kerambit knives, each with 10cm-long blades.

He was found with these weapons at about 1.20pm at a void deck in Hougang, court documents show.

The incident occurred along Sungei Serangoon Park Connector at around noon.

The victim and his colleague were installing some signs when they came across Ahirrudin, who was cutting plants illegally without a mask, said the police.

Ahirrudin turned aggressive when he was approached, and fled on a bicycle after the attack. However, he was arrested within 1½ hours, the police added.

Ahirrudin, who has a medical history at the Institute of Mental Health, will be remanded for psychiatric assessment for three weeks. He is due back in court on May 27.

The Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources and NParks said in a joint statement on Monday that they were "appalled and deeply concerned by the vicious attack".

They said: "This is an egregious act of violence inflicted on a public servant whilst he was performing his duties. We have zero tolerance towards such acts. Perpetrators will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

"Our public officers are committed to help keep Singaporeans safe in our public spaces during this Covid-19 period. We call on the public to abide strictly by the safe distancing measures, and to cooperate when approached by our officers."

Offenders convicted of attempted murder can be jailed for life and caned, or jailed for up to 20 years with a fine and caning.

Ahirrudin cannot be caned as he is more than 50 years old.

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