Police NSF fined for discharge of taser during horseplay

SINGAPORE - A police full-time national serviceman (NSF) was so bored, he started playing with his taser but then accidentally discharged it.

It happened on March 11 last year in a room within Expo MRT station.

On Thursday (March 29), 21-year-old Fayyadh Rahmat was fined $2,500 on one count of performing a rash act.

The incident happened while Fayyadh was on his morning shift duty at Expo MRT station. The special constable sergeant was there patrolling and checking on suspicious persons with three other police NSFs.

Fayyadh was the group leader and the only one on the team armed with a taser.

At around 11am that day, Fayyadh and the three officers retreated to their designated resting area within Expo MRT station for their one-hour meal break.

As they ate, Fayyadh's colleagues heard a pop sound followed by an electric buzz which lasted a few seconds. They saw Fayyadh holding his taser in shock. The taser had discharged and the two probes had struck the wall.

He said: "I thought I switch off, I thought I switch off, what do I do?"

After taking a few moments to compose himself, Fayyadh reported the incident to his supervisor.

Investigations revealed that Fayyadh was bored after finishing his meal, and started playing with his taser.

He switched the safety on and off a few times and put his finger in the trigger guard. He was twirling the taser horizontally when it discharged the probes by accident and they hit the wall. The taser was functioning properly at the time of the incident and was in Fire mode instead of Safe mode when it was discharged.

"It should be clear that the taser, while being a less lethal weapon than a firearm, can still cause serious injury in the event of an accidental discharge," said District Judge Marvin Bay in delivering his sentence.

He said the probes from the taser's discharge "could very conceivably have struck the other servicemen at the scene on their eyes, or other vulnerable body part" and added that a "deterrent sentence would be necessary to strongly deter other servicemen who are equipped with firearms and tasers from engaging in ill-advised horseplay, or other experimentation with their issued weapons".

Fayyadh, who completed full-time NS duty in August last year, had no disciplinary infractions during the course of his service.

He will begin his polytechnic studies next month. For a rash act, Fayyadh could have been jailed for up to six months or fined up to $2,500 or both. He was given the maximum fine.