Man fractures 4 teeth after being punched by Grab driver in dispute, police investigating


The dispute was over the cancellation of the man's Grab trip.
The dispute was over the cancellation of the man's Grab trip.PHOTO: SHIN MIN DAILY NEWS

SINGAPORE - Mr Henry He was hoping to take a Grab ride from his Yishun home to Choa Chu Kang with his wife and two children on May 12, but their outing ended abruptly when he was punched by a Grab driver during a dispute.

The driver struck Mr He in the face, which left him with four fractured upper teeth and severe bleeding in his mouth.

The police said that they are investigating a case of voluntarily causing hurt at Block 727 Yishun Street 71.

Mr He, 35, told The Straits Times on Monday (May 28) that the dispute was over the cancellation of his Grab trip, after the driver said that he could not take his five-year-old son.

Under the law, children under 1.35m require booster seats or child restraints when travelling in private hire cars. However, taxis are exempted from this rule.

Mr He, however, had not indicated in his Grab booking that he was with his child.

Speaking to ST over the phone, he said the Grab driver arrived in a black Audi but said that he had to book another ride.

Mr He, who works in the service sector, agreed and the driver then left the carpark.

He then booked another trip on the Ryde app.

But as he was waiting for his Ryde driver to arrive, the Grab driver returned and asked him why he had not cancelled the earlier ride.

He told the driver that he should have cancelled the ride, since he refused to pick them up, but the driver reacted angrily to this.

However, Mr He eventually agreed to cancel the Grab booking, but just as he was about to board the Ryde car, the Grab driver punched him in the face without warning

"I rarely take Grab rides with my children, so I didn't know I needed a child seat," he said. "I assumed that the driver would cancel, but it was such a shock when the dispute escalated and he punched me."

Mr He said he called the police immediately, and tried to stop the Grab driver from leaving the scene.

He said that he visited the accident and emergency department at Tan Tock Seng Hospital, which referred him to a dentist.

He was told that he would require dental implants and surgery to fix his fractured teeth, which he estimates would cost up to $30,000.

"I can't talk or eat well, and the pain has given me a lot of discomfort," he said, adding that he continues to take painkiller regularly.

"It has also affected my interactions with others, especially at work."

He added that he has sent an e-mail to Grab and hopes that they would compensate him for the cost of the dental implants.

"My two sons are still traumatised by the incident," he said.

In response to ST's queries, a Grab spokesman said that the safety of customers, including driver and passengers, is its absolute priority, and that it does not tolerate such behaviour.

"The police investigation is ongoing and we will be cooperating fully," the spokesman added.