Even if they're friends, how can this be right?

Even if they're friends, how can this be right?
CAUGHT IN THE ACT: The photo shows two men with the woman, whose panties were exposed.

When she saw two men apparently fondling a woman who could barely stand, she called the cops.

One of the men had apparently tried to put his hands into the woman's underwear.

But the police are not taking any action after interviewing the parties involved.

The question the witness is asking now is if a crime was not committed, how could the three people behave like that in public?

On Dec 21, a resident at Admiralty Link saw the incident and photographed it at about 8pm.

The photos the 32-year-old secretary contributed to citizen journalism portal Stomp went viral, with more than 300,000 views.

The police responded to queries from The New Paper on Dec 24 saying that after investigating the matter, no action would be taken.

That night, the cops had to be called twice, said the female resident, who asked not to be named following a threat allegedly made to her by one of the two men involved.

Said the resident: "He (one of the men) was trying to pull her underwear down. It was then I asked him: 'What are you doing? This is public space.' I don't think he understood what I said. After that, I said I was going to call the police."

The incident happened at a walkway below a flight of stairs that connects Block 406 to a 24-hour coffee shop.

A Malaysian cook from the coffee shop said the incident happened during dinner time.

Said the cook, who gave his name only as Meng: "I have heard about the incident, but none of us would have seen it because it happened during our busiest period.

"There's also a tall bush blocking the view (of the incident) from the coffee shop."

The resident was on her way home after buying food from the coffee shop when she spotted the trio. She said the two men shouted at her in a foreign language when she confronted them, adding that the trio tried to leave the scene after that.

She said: "One of the men carried her... They tried to walk away quickly. But they didn't get far because they were all drunk. They were carrying her because she couldn't walk at all."

The resident said there were other witnesses from the bus stop nearby.

Added the resident: "The police came back to me (that night). They said the woman was a bit okay and she said that they (the trio) were friends. Even if they're friends, isn't it wrong to behave like that in public?"

LIMIT

Lawyer N. Kanagavijayan explained that there is a limit to what the police can do in this case.

Mr Kana told TNP: "It's vital that the victim lodge a complaint to say that her modesty had been outraged. Without the complaint, there's no case for the police."

But that is not to say that the trio cannot be prosecuted.

"They can be charged with disorderly or indecent behaviour in public," Mr Kana added.

Understandably, those who have seen the images on Stomp like Mr Surinderpal Singh, 36, said no matter what the men were trying to do, "it just looks indecent".

Another view was held by Mr Ahmad Zohree, 33, who said the men should have been more mindful of their surroundings.

Said Mr Zohree: "You have to respect public space. There could be others who would feel offended by what they're seeing."

The resident claimed the police did not take her statement or ask for the photos she took that night.

The intoxicated woman left in a taxi with another female friend who had arrived. The two men left soon, too.

The female resident told TNP that after the police left, one of the two men came by, looking for her.

Luckily, she was not alone as her husband and her female friend had joined her at the void deck of a nearby HDB block. The man spoke in a foreign language and pointed a nail clipper at her.

Again, the police were alerted, the resident said. The man tried to leave, but was later detained by police at a nearby void deck. The resident said she saw police examining the man's bag.

He was later released.

TNP asked the police about the alleged groping incident and the female resident's claim about being threatened with a nail clipper.

The police confirmed that a call for assistance at Block 406 was received on Dec 21 around 9.20pm.

A police spokesman said: "Police have interviewed the woman who affirmed that she was not a victim of crime and the two men are her friends who were helping her home.

"She indicated that no police assistance was required in the matter."

zaihan@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on Dec 29, 2014.
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