Safe distancing ambassador jailed over fight with pet shop owner

·Senior Reporter
·4-min read
Yahoo News Singapore file photo
Yahoo News Singapore file photo.

SINGAPORE — A safe distancing ambassador (SDA) who kicked at a pet shop owner he wanted to lodge a report against and ended up in a brawl was jailed for three weeks and fined $800 on Tuesday (31 August).

Aloysius Hoe Wei Peng, 40, pleaded guilty to a charge of affray, causing hurt, and committing mischief. The latter two charges relate to a separate incident when Hoe and his ex-girlfriend got into a scuffle with a GrabFood delivery rider, after the rider cut between the couple at Waterway Point.

Hoe, a Singaporean who was an SDA employed by the Housing and Development Board, came across a pet shop owner in Yishun Central 1 who was not wearing a mask on 16 December last year. Hoe had been with his colleague Raudzah Salehan.

A CCTV recording of the incident showed that Hoe had not been wearing a uniform or a lanyard to identify him as an SDA. He was also smoking with his mask down at the time of the incident.

The owner, 48-year-old He Jun, was in the premises of of his pet shop Little Pet Kingdom then. Hoe directed Raudzah to take a photograph of the pet shop and Raudzah complied in order to lodge a report in the system used by SDAs.

He Jun noticed Raudzah taking the photo and approached her to ask what she was doing. Hoe saw this and asked He Jun “what’s wrong”. A dispute ensued, with Hoe and He Jun exchanging vulgarities.

At about 11.38am, Hoe kicked He Jun, who threw a stone lion statue at him in retaliation. The two grabbed onto each other, fell onto the floor, but continued exchanging punches and kicks. Both were later separated by a 62-year-old man working at a printing shop next to the pet shop.

Minutes later, Hoe later sent a message to the police saying “I am (an) SDA. I was doing my job. However, he beat me up. I do not need ambulance.”

He Jun sustained a swollen hand and did not seek medical attention. Hoe had superficial injuries from the brawl.

He pleaded guilty and was fined $2,000 for affray on 9 June.

Separately, Hoe was with his ex-girlfriend Wan Farah Shireen Abu Hassan at Waterway Point on 3 February last year when they got into an altercation with a GrabFood deliveryman.

At about 7.23pm, Hoe and Farah were walking along a link bridge at level 1 of Waterway Point when the victim overtook the couple by cutting in between them.

Unhappy, Farah shouted, “Do not know how to say excuse me?”

The victim alighted and asked Farah why she shouted, and if she was having premenstrual syndrome. The couple confronted the victim and scolded profanities.

Hoe kicked the victim’s stomach and threw the GrabFood bag at the victim. Farah’s attacks included slapping his head, swinging her hand and bag at him, throwing a can at his face, kicking him in the stomach and punching his head.

The victim’s spectacles fell to the floor, and Hoe stepped on it on purpose. The spectacles, worth $200, was damaged beyond repair and the victim had to replace it.

A while later, a security officer arrived and separated the victim from Farah. However, she still punched the victim’s nose, causing it to bleed. The case against Farah is pending.

The assault was captured on CCTV cameras.

The victim was conveyed to hospital and given two days of medical leave for his injuries, including nose swelling and abrasions. He paid $131.40 for his visit.

Hoe's lawyer S S Dhillon, said that Hoe had been employed as an SDA from June until December last year. He currently sells amulets, clothes and surgical masks online. 

The lawyer added that for the Yishun incident, Hoe had tried to explain to He Jun that the latter had been spotted for not wearing a face mask on a few occasions, but Hoe did not penalise him previously. 

As for the Waterway Point incident, had the victim just left, no altercation would have taken place, said Dhillon. 

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