German jailed for headbutting police officer

Markus Spalteholz, who also threatened two officers, was jailed for three months.
Markus Spalteholz, who also threatened two officers, was jailed for three months.ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

Markus Spalteholz, a kinetic art specialist on a work assignment at Terminal 4 Changi Airport, was jailed for three months yesterday for head-butting a police officer.

The German national admitted to head-butting Sergeant Lim Zi Sheng, 26, at 11.47pm in Clarke Quay on April 29, causing the police officer to suffer a "non-tender slight right frontal scalp swelling".

Responding to a report of "damaging property and molestation", troopers from the Special Operations Command of the police force had arrived in River Valley Road that evening and saw Spalteholz, 27, pinned on the ground by bouncers outside The Pump Room.

The bouncers said Spalteholz had behaved violently earlier. As the officers placed him in a rear wrist lock, he resisted and threatened two of them, saying: "I will find you, and I remember your face."

Other officers, including Special Constabulary Sgt Nu'man Shariff Mohidin, 20, arrived soon after.

Spalteholz, who was shouting repeatedly, was arrested for disorderly behaviour.

While Sgt Nu'man was kneeling in front of him, trying to ascertain his particulars, Spalteholz broke free and hit the officer's chin and arms. After he was handcuffed, Spalteholz was escorted to the police car but he refused to get in.

As Sgt Lim bent down to manoeuvre Spalteholz's legs into the police car, he headbutted the officer.

Arguing for at least four months' jail, Deputy Public Prosecutor Sarah Ong said such offences are becoming increasingly prevalent. Any attack on a public servant in the performance of his duties cannot be condoned and must be met with a stiff deterrent sentence, she said.

Pleading for leniency, Spalteholz's lawyer Darshan Singh said his client arrived in Singapore on April 19 and had been working tirelessly on the airport project.

Spalteholz had several beers that night and was injured during a scuffle with an unidentified man. This, coupled with his disorientation and distress from his injuries, reduced his inhibitions and awareness, said the lawyer, who asked for one month's jail.

He said Spalteholz was also instrumental in the building and design of the Rain Kinetic project at Terminal 1, and is likely to lose his job.

The maximum penalty for causing hurt to a public servant is seven years' jail, fine, caning or any combined sentence.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 26, 2017, with the headline 'German jailed for headbutting police officer'. Print Edition | Subscribe