Off-duty cop subdues attacker who hit him with knuckle duster

Sergeant Pang Lin Tong, 22, was waiting to take a taxi home at around 4am when he saw a man wearing a knuckle duster chasing a group of men and a woman near Riverside Point. ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO

SINGAPORE (THE NEW PAPER) - Despite being injured after he was punched by a man wielding a knuckle duster, an off-duty police officer went after his assailant and subdued him.

In the incident on Dec 1, Sergeant Pang Lin Tong, 22, was waiting to take a taxi home at around 4am when he saw a man wearing a knuckle duster on his right hand chasing a group of men and a woman near Riverside Point.

Worried for their safety, he approached the man, who appeared to be drunk and was shouting vulgarities, to calm him down.

"I approached him cautiously because of what he had in his hand and he threatened to punch me," Sgt Pang told reporters at the Police Cantonment Complex on Wednesday (Dec 18).

As he shouted for someone else to call the police, the man threw two punches at his face.

The knuckle duster landed on Sgt Pang's left cheek, but he managed to reduce the impact by blocking the blows with his arms.

After the attacker walked away, the injured cop tailed him from a few metres away and called 999 for assistance.

When the man heard Sgt Pang on the phone, he turned around and landed a third punch above the officer's left ear.

"That was when I drew the line, so I took him down and identified myself as a police officer," Sgt Pang said.

He pinned his attacker on the ground as the man continued to struggle until back-up arrived three minutes later to arrest him.

Sgt Pang, who had a swollen left cheek and a cut above his left ear, was given two days of medical leave.

Recalling the incident, he said: "When I approached the man, I was nervous because I did not have any equipment with me. But as police officers, we are trained in defence tactics. I was also lucky that two passers-by stepped forward to help me detain him."

Investigations are ongoing.

If found guilty of possessing a scheduled weapon, the man can be jailed for up to five years.

SIGNED ON

Sgt Pang, who signed on as a full-time officer after completing his diploma at Temasek Polytechnic, has been a ground response force officer at the Bukit Merah East Neighbourhood Police Centre for about 18 months.

"It is important for us to do our part," he said, while advising the public to call the authorities if they see anything wrong.

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