He was tending a vegetable and fruit shop, Guru's Marketing, at Buffalo Road, on Sunday evening when he heard a commotion about 100m away.
At first, Indian national Abdul Hakkim Mohamed Azeem Batcha, 32, thought a group of men were arguing at nearby Race Course Road.
The worker told The New Paper on Monday: "Many people come to Little India on Sunday night and they drink alcohol. Sometimes, they get into fights. I've worked here for three years and I'm used to it."
But he realised the situation was serious when a group of policemen went past at around 10.30pm and asked him to go back inside his shop for his own safety.
Then a horde of people started running towards his shop.
"Around 100 people dashed towards the shop, took everything they saw and threw them around," said worker Abdul Hakkim.
He retreated into the store and asked three colleagues to follow suit, leaving their wares unattended.
They made their way up to the second storey of the shophouse and did not dare to peek out.