Taxi passenger who hit cab and released handbrake fined $6k

Filipino Achilles Tomanpos Estremos was fined $6,000 for causing mischief along Neil Road.
Filipino Achilles Tomanpos Estremos was fined $6,000 for causing mischief along Neil Road.PHOTO: ST GRAPHICS

SINGAPORE - An interior designer who refused to get out of a taxi after he was unable to pay the fare kicked the passenger door and hit its rear windshield and side window with an umbrella.

Filipino Achilles Tomanpos Estremos, 47, who had been drinking, also released the handbrake twice, causing the taxi to bump into another cab behind.

On Tuesday (Jan 5), he was fined $6,000 for causing mischief along Neil Road on May 1, 2015.

He has compensated Comfort Transportation to the tune of $2,280.

The Singapore permanent resident, who pleaded guilty, could have been jailed for up to two years and fined for causing loss or damage to the amount of $500 or upwards.

The court heard that he had downed two bottles of wine at a company lunch to celebrate his boss's birthday before having more drinks at a bar on Neil Road.

Taxi driver Sim Khng Huat, 63, picked him up along South Bridge Road. Estremos was smelling strongly of alcohol.

When Mr Sim arrived at Neil Road, Estremos tried to give him a piece of paper to pay the $7 taxi fare but the driver rejected this. Estremos then tried to pay with his Nets card but was unable to enter the correct PIN code.

Mr Sim asked him to alight so he could pick up other passengers.

Estremos refused, insisting that he had money to pay the fare. He lay down and kicked the side door several times, and then used an umbrella to hit the rear windshield and side window. Estremos also challenged the driver to call the police.

As Mr Sim tried to do so, Estremos grabbed his shoulder. The cabby got out of the car and locked it, before another cabby stopped to help.

Estremos then climbed over to the driver seat and released the handbrake. The taxi rolled backwards and dented the other taxi, which was parked behind.

When the other driver tried to reverse his taxi, Estremos released the handbrake again causing the cab to roll back and dent the taxi a second time.

When police arrived, Estremos apologised to Mr Sim. His friend came and paid the taxi fare.