$1.5m condo parking saga: Resident given stern warning for verbally abusing security guard

Mr Erramalli Ramesh was caught on video verbally abusing a condominium security guard last October.
Mr Erramalli Ramesh was caught on video verbally abusing a condominium security guard last October.PHOTOS: SCREENGRABS FROM YOUTUBE

SINGAPORE - Mr Erramalli Ramesh, the man who was caught on a widely shared video verbally abusing a condominium security guard last October, has been issued a stern warning by the police for intentionally causing harassment.

Four other men were in turn also given warnings for harassing Mr Erramalli, including threatening him and his family with death, violence and rape.

The police said on Friday (Jan 17) that it reached the decision in consultation with the Attorney-General's Chambers.

Despite Mr Erramalli saying that he did not wish to pursue the matter against those who harassed him, the police said they nevertheless carried out investigations.

Two men, aged 41 and 47, were issued stern warnings for causing intentional harassment to Mr Erramalli. Two other men, aged 19 and 56, were given 12-month conditional warnings for threatening him and his family with death and violence.

A stern warning is issued in place of prosecution after a criminal investigation is concluded.

But a conditional stern warning allows the authorities to prosecute the accused for the original crime if conditions in the warning are breached within a specified time period, which in this case is 12 months.

The  spat between Mr Erramalli and the security guard happened at Eight Riversuites condominium in Whampoa during the Deepavali weekend last year.

The incident was caught on video, which shows the then 44-year-old swearing at the guard after being told by the security officer that he needed to pay a $10 fee for guests parking at the condo after 11pm.

He is heard telling security officers that he bought his apartment for $1.5 million, and that it was not a Housing Board block.

After the video was uploaded online, netizens dug up his personal details, including his educational credentials and the company he worked for, and posted these online, with many accompanying their posts with threatening or racist remarks.

 
 
 

In the incident’s aftermath, an internal e-mail memo seen by The Straits Times was circulated to the Singapore-based staff of Mr Erramalli’s employer, investment bank JP Morgan.

The memo reminded employees to “demonstrate the highest standards, including respect and dignity for others...inside and outside of the workplace”.

Sent to about 3,000 employees, the memo was signed by Mr Edmund Lee, the senior country officer of JP Morgan’s Singapore offices.

But ST understands that Mr Erramalli is no longer with the bank, although his leaving was not caused by the incident.

When contacted, JP Morgan declined to comment on its employees’ individual employment status.

The condo incident also led the Union of Security Employees and two security agency associations to condemn Mr Erramalli’s actions, highlighting the difficult position security officers often find themselves in when residents disagree with condominium management rules.

 
 
 

In a private meeting on Oct 30, Mr Erramalli met the senior security supervisor, Mr Steven Heng, whom he had insulted, and apologised. Mr Heng also urged everyone “to forgive Mr Erramalli and forget this unfortunate incident”.

Amid questions about Mr Erramalli’s citizenship status, the Ministry of Home Affairs had said  that he became a Singaporean under the Family Ties scheme through marriage to a local-born Singapore citizen.

Checks by the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority also found no evidence that he had falsified his educational qualifications.