Three women who helped chase down and corner pervert honoured by police

Part-time food delivery rider Muhammad Talip Ajman Ali chased after a man suspected of stealing a mobile phone near Lower Delta Road and helped in his arrest. The Fullerton Bay Hotel's Ms Maria Leong (far left) with rooms division manager Rhea Maria
(From left) Civil servant Ashlynna Ng Rui, communications coordinator Debbi Cheong Pei Lin and parliamentary assistant Hemaa Shruthi Sekar received the Public Spiritedness Award at the Central Police Division yesterday for helping a woman chase after a man who had fled after performing a sex act in front of her at a park.ST PHOTO: KHALID BABA
Part-time food delivery rider Muhammad Talip Ajman Ali chased after a man suspected of stealing a mobile phone near Lower Delta Road and helped in his arrest. The Fullerton Bay Hotel's Ms Maria Leong (far left) with rooms division manager Rhea Maria
Part-time food delivery rider Muhammad Talip Ajman Ali chased after a man suspected of stealing a mobile phone near Lower Delta Road and helped in his arrest.ST PHOTO: KHALID BABA
Part-time food delivery rider Muhammad Talip Ajman Ali chased after a man suspected of stealing a mobile phone near Lower Delta Road and helped in his arrest. The Fullerton Bay Hotel's Ms Maria Leong (far left) with rooms division manager Rhea Maria
The Fullerton Bay Hotel's Ms Maria Leong (left) with rooms division manager Rhea Maria Rosa, who was collecting the award on behalf of her colleague Lam Siew Pak. Ms Leong and Mr Lam helped calm down a suicidal woman at the Singapore River in front of the hotel. The woman was eventually moved to safety.ST PHOTO: KHALID BABA

Women and three others receive Public Spiritedness Award for helping to stop crime

When 23-year-old Hemaa Shruthi Sekar was approached by a woman left traumatised by a pervert, she knew she had to help.

The man had fled after performing a sex act in front of the woman at a Tiong Bahru park but Ms Hemaa, who gave chase along with the victim and four other women, said: "The more we saw him run, the more we wanted to stop him."

Despite his attempts to hide behind walls and at void decks, the group cornered him in a carpark after a 45-minute chase. Police arrived to arrest him 10 minutes after being alerted.

Yesterday, the police honoured the parliamentary assistant and two of the other women - communications coordinator Debbi Cheong Pei Lin, 23, and civil servant Ashlynna Ng Rui, 24 - by giving them the Public Spiritedness Award.

"We weren't afraid to chase after the man because we wanted justice for the victim," added Ms Hemaa, who attended the ceremony at the Central Police Division.

The award is given out to members of the public who help to stop acts of crime.

Yesterday's other winners were two hotel staff who rushed to help a suicidal woman and a food delivery rider who stopped a thief.

The Fullerton Bay Hotel's director of security Lam Siew Pak, 58, and manager on duty Maria Leong, 26, spotted the emotionally unstable woman on the edge of the Singapore River in front of the hotel and spent two hours trying to persuade her to move away from the ledge.

HOW THE PUBLIC CAN HELP

If you are not confident in confronting the accused directly, you can also follow him quietly and let the police know his movements and your whereabouts.

ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER OF POLICE GREGORY TAN SIEW HIN, commander of the Central Police Division.

Ms Leong spoke to the Chinese national in Mandarin to try and calm her down. When the police arrived, the woman grew even more stressed but Ms Leong was able to talk to her and she was eventually moved to safety.

Meanwhile, part-time food deliveryman Muhammad Talip Ajman Ali, 26, received the award after chasing a man who stole a foreign worker's mobile phone near Lower Delta Road. The thief eventually threw the phone to the ground and was arrested with Mr Talip's help.

"Their actions are a good example for others and a testament to the strong sense of partnership between the police and the community," said Assistant Commissioner of Police Gregory Tan Siew Hin, the division's commander.

He advised members of the public to call the police first, adding: "We don't always encourage members of the public to directly confront perpetrators, because it depends on your own assessment of your ability. It will also be safer to do so if you are in a group or in a larger public space.

"If you are not confident in confronting the accused directly, you can also follow him quietly and let the police know his movements and your whereabouts."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 08, 2019, with the headline 'Trio helped chase down, corner pervert'. Print Edition | Subscribe