Coronavirus: Man arrested for disorderly behaviour after insisting on eating at void deck

Seniors at a common area in Haig Road yesterday, despite a ban on social gatherings of any size. An elderly man was arrested for disorderly behaviour after refusing to heed the advice of police officers and for shouting at them in Bendemeer on Tuesda
Seniors at a common area in Haig Road yesterday, despite a ban on social gatherings of any size. ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH
Seniors at a common area in Haig Road yesterday, despite a ban on social gatherings of any size. An elderly man was arrested for disorderly behaviour after refusing to heed the advice of police officers and for shouting at them in Bendemeer on Tuesda
An elderly man was arrested for disorderly behaviour after refusing to heed the advice of police officers and for shouting at them in Bendemeer on Tuesday. PHOTO: STOMP
A cabby using his vehicle as a dining table, which is not against the rules.
A cabby using his vehicle as a dining table, which is not against the rules. ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

An elderly man was arrested for disorderly behaviour after refusing to heed the advice of police officers and for shouting at them in Bendemeer on Tuesday, the first day of Covid-19 circuit-breaker measures.

He had wanted to eat at a table in the void deck of Block 28 Bendemeer Road, and refused to leave, the police told Stomp. Several Stomp contributors alerted the citizen journalism website to a video of the incident that shows the 71-year-old man, who was holding a bag of food, being handcuffed.

In response to a Stomp query, the police said officers who were on foot patrol at the block at around 11.40am came across a group of elderly people "gathering around two tables at the void deck".

A police spokesman said that police officers advised them to go home and not remain at the location. The group complied and left.

Shortly after, a 71-year-old man arrived with his packet lunch and wanted to eat at one of the tables. The officers advised him to return home to have his lunch and not loiter in public unnecessarily.

"The man refused to heed the police officers' advice and shouted at them. He remained uncooperative despite the officers' repeated advice for him to calm down and leave the place," said the spokesman.

The man was subsequently arrested for disorderly behaviour.

The police are investigating the matter. They added in their statement: "Members of the public are advised to take the circuit-breaker measures seriously.

"Everyone should stay home and go out only for essential activities. Everyone must play their part for the circuit breaker to be effective."

As part of new Covid-19 circuit-breaker measures in effect from Tuesday to May 4, dining in at food and beverage outlets is not allowed. But people can still buy food to take away or use food delivery services.

All social gatherings of any size in both private and public spaces have also been banned under a new Bill passed in Parliament on Tuesday.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 09, 2020, with the headline Man arrested for disorderly behaviour after insisting on eating at void deck. Subscribe