Firefighter receives award for saving young woman from sexual assault

Deputy Assistant Commissioner of Police Marc E with Public Spiritedness Award recipients (from left) Muhammad Suhanas Abdul Aziz, Ong Keng Chor and Elisha Teo. PHOTO: SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE

SINGAPORE - Firefighter Muhammad Suhanas Abdul Aziz, 28, was on his way down his HDB block to buy a drink when he saw a middle-aged man forcefully grabbing a young woman's arm on the fourth floor.

He recognised her as she lives in the same block, and thought they looked suspicious but continued his own way.

A little while later, feeling uneasy, he decided to check on the pair again after he got his drink.

"I just felt like something wasn't right," he said. He found the pair on the sixth floor, and saw the man touching the woman inappropriately, with his trousers unzipped.

"The woman said to me in Malay, 'this crazy man is touching me'," recalled Mr Suhanas on Monday (Jan 25). He shouted at the man, which prompted him to run away. Mr Suhanas chased him down two storeys, before he tripped the man and pinned him down.

The man offered Mr Suhanas $1,000 to let him go, but he refused. A neighbour who heard the commotion called the police. The man was arrested and is being investigated by the police.

Mr Suhanas was among three individuals who received the Public Spiritedness Award from Deputy Assistant Commissioner of Police Marc E at the Clementi Police Division on Monday.

"I was thinking if it was my sister (who had been assaulted), things would have ended differently," said Mr Suhanas.

Grab driver Ong Keng Chor, 40, was commended for providing the police with information that led to the arrest of three men on Sept 29 last year. He had witnessed the trio chasing after a few others with what he described as a long, shiny knife, and called the police.

Mr Ong said the targets managed to run away, while the attackers left the scene in a car.

He followed the trio in his car from Pandan Gardens to Tiong Bahru, and updated the police with their location. This helped the police arrest the men, who are facing prosecution.

The third man awarded for his public spiritedness was Mr Elisha Teo, 39, who works at Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

On Sept 18 last year, he noticed an unconscious man in a suspicious-looking car painted with multiple colours and called the police.

The man, who was suspected by the police of committing a drug offence, was arrested and faces prosecution.

Besides the Public Spiritedness Award, Mr E also handed out the Community Partnership Award to five rangers from Sentosa Development Corporation. They detained six men who were involved in a riot. Police later arrested the six.

Mr E said: "Crime is more likely solved and criminals more likely deterred, if public-spiritedness is strong and widespread. The public-spiritedness and close partnership with the police displayed by these individuals and organisations are commendable. "

One organisation - yhe Singapore's Cybersports & Online Gaming Association - received the Community Partnership Award for collaborating with the Clementi Police Divison in organising an E-sports event for youth.

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