'Her life was slipping away in front of us,' says man who confronted Beach Road slasher

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A restaurant owner and his employee give their first-hand account of how they confronted a man who allegedly attacked his wife with a chopper outside a restaurant in Beach Road. They were among others who swung into action to stop the man.

SINGAPORE - Restaurant workers who swung into action to stop a man who was allegedly trying to kill his wife said they had acted instinctively when they realised there was a commotion near a restaurant in Beach Road.

They heard a woman screaming for help in the alley behind Zhong Hua Steamboat and were horrified to see her bleeding while a man armed with a chopper continued to confront her.

Grabbing whatever they could, they threw plastic chairs and metal signposts at the man.

Mr Jackie Tee, 30, said he threw bins at the alleged attacker.

"He was slashing the woman relentlessly and the first thing I thought to do was to help her," added Mr Tee.

The incident on Thursday happened outside a row of shops and restaurants in Beach Road at about 5.30pm.

Mr Tee was terrified in the moment but he knew that if he did not act, the woman could die.

"I couldn't just stand there and do nothing when her life was slipping away in front of us," he said.

Mr Tee added that the man tried to lunge at him with the chopper but thankfully, a worker from Zhong Hua Steamboat blocked him with chairs and metal plates.

Mr Tee's boss, Mr Leonard Shi, 41, owner of Samurai BBQ, also helped ward off the assailant using a metal signpost.

"There were more than 40 people gathered around but only about 10 people were trying to stop him. It's understandable, of course, he was carrying a chopper," said Mr Shi.

Samurai BBQ is in Liang Seah Street, which is adjacent to Beach Road and about 50m from Zhong Hua Steamboat.

Samurai BBQ owner Leonard Shi (left) and his employee Jackie Tee at the scene where the slashing took place, on April 15, 2022. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

The brutal attack was caught on video, and shows staff from different restaurants confronting the alleged attacker even as he brandished the chopper at them.

Mr Wei Chen Xiang, a worker from Zhong Hua Steamboat, said it was harrowing and visions of what happened came to mind when he turned up for work on Friday.

He threw plastic chairs at the man during the attack.

"There was a lot of blood everywhere... this is not something I will ever forget," said the 32-year-old.

Mr Jackie Tee's boss, Mr Leonard Shi (right), also helped ward off the assailant using a metal signpost. PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM SOCIAL MEDIA
A still image from a video shared on social media shows a man slashing a woman with a cleaver in Liang Seah Street. PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM SOCIAL MEDIA

The workers chased the alleged assailant down an alley behind the row of restaurants and he was eventually tasered by the police while inside Chong Qing (Origin) Steamboat.

The eatery is next to Zhong Hua Steamboat, a restaurant at the corner of Beach Road and Liang Seah Street. 

The men's actions were lauded online, with many praising them for being brave.

Assistant Commissioner of Police (AC) Jeremy Ang, Commander of Central Police Division, had also commended the men for intervening.

The police officers who cornered the alleged assailant, who was still armed, were also praised for keeping their cool as they subdued him.

In a video, two officers could be seen warning him before at least one of them fired his taser. As the man falls to the ground, the officers move in to restrain him.

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More than 10 police officers had rushed to the scene in response to the attack which lasted about 10 minutes.

The alleged attacker, 46, is said to be the husband of the 41-year-old victim, who works in a restaurant along the same stretch of eateries in Beach Road.

She suffered multiple cuts in the assault. Police said the suspect also slashed his wrists during the incident.

Both of them were taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital, where The Straits Times understands the man is being held under armed guard.

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Police had earlier said they were investigating the incident as attempted murder. The man will be charged on Saturday.

Those convicted can be jailed for life, or up to 20 years with a fine, or both.

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