Police NSFs apprehend molester on their way to work

Police NSFs apprehend molester on their way to work
Full-time police national servicemen Tan Keng Yew and George Lee (right).

Full-time police national servicemen Tan Keng Yew and George Lee tend to be more familiar with administrative duties.

So the last thing the 21-year-olds imagined was to be part of a dramatic chase to nab a molester while on their way to work.

It all began when the bus they were on at 7am on March 12 stopped suddenly along Tampines Road.

"The bus driver turned around and announced to all passengers that the bus would be locked down because a teenage girl had approached him and told him that a man who molested her two weeks ago was on the bus," said Mr Tan.

The bus driver said the police had been contacted.

Mr Tan, who was sitting at the back of the bus, approached both the driver and the girl and identified himself as a police officer.

Mr Lee, who was seated at the front of the bus and saw what had happened, also stepped forward to offer his help.

Mr Lee told The New Paper: "I offered help because I felt a sense of duty."

Both men did not know each other before the incident.

The bus driver then asked passengers to alight one by one through the front door.

The teenager was pointing out the molester - a man in his 50s - to the two police officers when he attempted a quick escape through the exit.

He was stopped by the officers and when they asked him if he was the molester, he indicated that he did not understand English and backed away slowly.

The man then rushed out of the bus from the back exit. It was unclear how the back doors were opened.

Mr Tan and Mr Lee jumped off the bus and chased him, together with two other male passengers, down Tampines Road.


While running, Mr Tan slipped and fell along a downward slope.

But the abrasions he had on his palm and waist did not stop him.

The group of four continued to chase the man and nabbed him as he was halfway up a wall.

Mr Lee told TNP: "I grabbed him by his shirt before he could get away. He did not struggle and stayed compliant when we caught him."

The group took him back to a bus stop nearby and made him sit by the kerb. The police arrived soon after.

The man was convicted and served two weeks behind bars in March this year. He could have been jailed for up to two years.

Reflecting on the incident, Mr Tan said that he "did not think too much about it and acted purely on instinct".

His and Mr Lee's friends and family were concerned as the man could have retaliated violently, but Mr Lee said at least they were "able to help keep Singapore a little safer".

Mr Tan is doing his NS with the Ministry of Home Affairs, while Mr Lee is with the police headquarters.

They intend to further their studies after completing their NS.

Mr Tan is enrolling in Singapore Management University to study information systems, and Mr Lee hopes to work part-time while pursuing a degree.

The two said this experience not only forged a friendship between them but also changed their perception of police work as they are not frequently deployed to the frontline.

"This is something we will remember for the rest of our lives," said Mr Lee.


This article was first published on May 26, 2015.
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