He grabs knife, locks himself in flat

He grabs knife, locks himself in flat
PHOTO: The New Paper

A man was arrested yesterday after a four-hour stand-off with the police at a flat in Punggol.

Mr Quek Yue Fay, who is 42 and unemployed, is said to have threatened to set fire to the three-room flat that he shares with his parents.

Police said they received a call at about 1.15pm, asking for help at an eighth-storey flat at Block 211B, Punggol Walk.

The New Paper understands that there had been a dispute between Mr Quek and his father, Mr Quek Ah Kee, 70.

Mr Quek Yue Fay had sent a text message asking his father to buy some medication, but the older man refused.

The younger man threatened to set fire to the flat if his father did not accede to his demands.

He is believed to have poured some sort of spirit on the ground, locked himself in the flat and armed himself with a kitchen knife.

Mr Quek Ah Kee, who was not at home, met police officers at the void deck and went up to the eighth storey, where they tried to talk him out of harming himself.

But he refused to calm down and the police had to call for back-up.

When TNP arrived at the block just after 4pm, there were at least half a dozen police officers in riot gear outside the flat. Police negotiators were also at work.

Two giant airbags had been set up at the foot of the block and Singapore Civil Defence Force rescuers were on standby in the units above and below Mr Quek's.

TNP understands that officers from the Special Operations Command were also on standby in case negotiations did not work out.

WATCHING

About a dozen neighbours were gathered on the seventh-storey corridor, watching the drama unfold.

After about an hour, officers told Mr Quek Yue Fay to unlock the door before they entered the unit just after 5pm.

He was examined by paramedics before being taken away by police officers. A police spokesman said Mr Quek has been arrested for criminal intimidation.

Shortly after he was taken away, an elderly gentleman, believed to be Mr Quek Ah Kee, could be seen talking to police officers and crime scene investigators.

He declined to speak to the media.

There was a stench of alcohol outside the flat.

TNP understands this was not the first time Mr Quek Yue Fay has had an episode and that he has a mental condition.

Technician Ang Teow Lee, 52, who lives on the seventh storey, said he heard shouting coming from the flat at about 11pm on Thursday.

"They are usually quiet, but in the last few months, I would hear shouting now and then," he said in Mandarin.

"(Thursday night's) was the worst by far."

Property records list both Mr Queks and a Madam Woo Yu Thai as the flat's owners.

Neighbours say the Queks moved in more than two years ago when the Build-To-Order homes were completed.

But the family of three largely kept to themselves and the unit next to theirs has been unoccupied.

Madam Lim Que Eng, whose daughter lives on the same storey as the Queks, said she often runs into Madam Woo at the lift landing or on the way to the MRT station.

"We usually make small talk about the neighbourhood, our grandchildren and domestic helpers," said Madam Lim, 65, adding that Madam Woo had said she has grandchildren from her daughter.

The woman, who appears to be in her 60s, works as a promoter, Madam Lim said. Police said investigations are underway.


This article was first published on Feb 13, 2016.
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