Taxi driver fights off alleged robber who threatened him with scissors

Taxi driver Zheng Lianxing showing how the robber threatened him with a pair of scissors. PHOTO: SHIN MIN DAILY NEWS
The suspect seen in the taxi's dashboard camera, when Mr Zheng stopped to pick him up. PHOTO: ZHENG LIANXING
Mr Zheng's TransCab vehicle drove through a carpark gantry after he accidentally stepped on the accelerator during the robbery. PHOTO: ZHENG LIANXING

SINGAPORE - A cabby successfully fended off a passenger who had tried to rob him.

TransCab driver Zheng Lianxing told evening daily Shin Min that the alleged robber had held a pair of scissors to his neck, but he managed to fight off his attacker after distracting him with several $50 notes.

Mr Zheng picked up the man along Upper Changi Road early on Thursday morning. The passenger, a Chinese male believed to be in his 20s, asked to be taken to Ang Mo Kio Avenue 10.

"We had a conversation during the half-hour ride, where he told me that he worked in a Japanese cafe," Mr Zheng said.

After a change in destination to a nearby MRT station, the passenger said he wanted to be taken back to a carpark along Avenue 10 instead.

"He then started sliding slowly from the left (rear) seat to the right seat," said the cabby.

Just as Mr Zheng's taxi reached the carpark gantry, the man turned aggressive. According to Mr Zheng, the passenger pulled out a pair of scissors, held it to his neck and demanded cash.

In his shock, the cabby floored the accelerator and crashed through the gantry, before managing to stop the car. He then took out some notes from his wallet, but instead of giving them to the robber, he flung it around the back of the cab in an effort to distract him.

"As he reached for the money with his other hand, I grabbed his left with both my hands and slammed it down hard, causing him to scream in pain," recalled Mr Zheng.

The robber opened the car door and ran away with $200, but left the pair of scissors, as well as his slippers, behind in his panic.

"I wanted to chase him," said Mr Zheng, "but my taxi had smashed through the gantry, and I was still wearing my seat-belt, so I couldn't go after him."

He called the police and they responded immediately.

Several of Mr Zheng's taxi driver friends also turned up after hearing about the robbery, to give him some support.

In the scuffle, Mr Zheng said his neck bled, and his ankle was also hurt.

"There are two CCTVs at the gantry and there are also two cameras on my taxi," Mr Zheng told Lianhe Wanbao. "Along with the fingerprints on the scissors, it's only a matter of time before he's caught."

A police spokesman said they received a call for assistance at Block 411 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 10 at about 1.14am.

Police investigations are ongoing.

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