It began with a young man accusing an elderly man of touching his girlfriend's buttocks.
The accusation then turned into an assault that continued off and on for about 20 minutes.
The incident, part of which was recorded on video, took place at a coffee shop at Block 59, Marine Terrace, on Sunday afternoon.
The alleged molester suffered a broken nose and his T-shirt was ripped to shreds after he was beaten up by a bald man in his 20s.
The confrontation between the two men was sparked by the 68-year-old allegedly touching the buttocks of the young man's girlfriend, witnesses told The New Paper yesterday.
It was not clear when the alleged molest occurred but a female worker at the coffee shop said she heard the young man shouting, "Why did you touch my girlfriend."
The woman, who did not want to be named, added that the older man denied that he had touched her and tried to walk away.
"The young man grabbed him and said he would call the police.
"The old man shouted back at him that he should go ahead," she said.
"He then punched the older man in the face a few times before a third man stepped in to stop the assault and called the police."
But the third man then left the scene and the young man continued his assault on his elderly victim.
The worker said: "The confrontation went on for about 20 minutes and no one dared to step in."
The young man punched the alleged molester till he fell to the ground. Even then, he continued raining blows on his victim. "The girlfriend's mother had to step in and pull the boyfriend away," said the worker.
"All the while, the girlfriend sat quietly at a table. I saw her crying after that."
A customer at the coffee shop, who wanted to be known only as Mr Lee, 48, filmed part of the incident on his mobile phone camera. "The young man kept punching the old man and no one stepped in to help," said Mr Lee.
"I was also afraid to step in because he was so fierce and looked intimidating.
"In the video, the young man was heard shouting: "Sorry what? Sorry for what?"
The older man, whose nose was bleeding and who had blood all over his face, did not fight back. When he tried to walk away, his assailant took a swing at him and grabbed his T-shirt, ripping it off.
At that point, the older man looked to the crowd and shouted: "Someone call the police."
The girlfriend's mother shouted that she had already called the police.
The young man continued shouting, telling the older man to apologise to his girlfriend.
The video ended with the woman shouting at the old man to wait for the police to arrive.
A stall owner, who wanted to be known only as Mr Ramly, 29, said he arrived just in time to see the man's T-shirt being ripped off.
"It was very crowded at the time and there were more than 30 people standing around, watching," he said.
"After a while, a third man went in to stop the attack and separated them until the police came."
A police spokesman said they received a call about the incident at 1.46pm on Sunday.
"It was established that a case of voluntarily causing grievous hurt and outrage of modesty had occurred," he said.
"A 68-year-old man was taken conscious to Changi General Hospital."
A Singapore Civil Defence Force spokesman said the victim suffered facial injuries, which included a fractured and bleeding nose.
The police spokesman said that no one has been arrested pending investigations.
Coffee shop workers said the attacker was a regular customer but they were not familiar with the victim.
They said police officers returned around 4pm the same day to retrieve closed-circuit television footage of the incident.
This article was first published on August 4, 2015.
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