SINGAPORE - Police yesterday praised members of the public who helped to detain a man suspected of molesting a teenage student.
Witnesses told of how four people, including the girl's father, helped to pin down the shirtless man who repeatedly shouted "sorry" as he struggled to break free.
Mrs Siti Khadijah Lim, who had been walking near Admiralty MRT station on Thursday evening, went to help the girl - who was in her school uniform - after spotting her standing near the commotion, crying.
"The victim told me she was walking home when the man walked next to her and started talking to her," said Mrs Lim, 33. "She said he suddenly hugged her and molested her."
The incident allegedly happened 15 minutes earlier at Woodlands Avenue 6.
Police, who arrived to arrest the suspect, said the victim had informed her father immediately after her ordeal.
He and his daughter then kept a lookout for the suspect and spotted him soon after. Three passers-by helped him to pin down and detain the man.
The offence of outrage of modesty carries a jail term of up to two years, a fine, or caning.
Mrs Lim, who runs a home baking business, said the suspect appeared strong. "He was struggling and he almost broke free a few times even with so many people pinning him down."
She added that the area is usually safe as it is near the train station and a police post.
"I must really applaud the people who bravely helped. They help to make the neighbourhood safer," she said.
The commander of Jurong Police Division, Deputy Assistant Commissioner of Police Wilson Lim, commended the victim for raising the alarm and members of public for "their swift action in coming forward" to help to detain the suspect.
He added that anyone who encounters such crimes should shout for help immediately to attract the attention of people nearby, or seek help from them.
The victims should also take note of the suspect's physical description and call the police when it is safe to do so.
This article was published on April 19 in The Straits Times.
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