Siblings pull man into shop to save him from mob

Siblings pull man into shop to save him from mob

Yeo Buan Heng Liquor Shop

He stood frozen in fear at the unfamiliar sights and sounds. An angry-looking man, who had locked eyes with Mr Rafal Sojka, 45, was walking towards him and mumbling in a foreign language.

The stranger held an umbrella and was foaming at the mouth, Mr Sojka recalls.

Just moments earlier, Mr Sojka had witnessed his friend, who was driving a van, being assaulted by a few men.

Says Mr Sojka, a Singapore permanent resident from Poland: "I was trying to make sense of the situation. I thought there must have been a small fight somewhere.

"But when I saw rage in the men's eyes, I was afraid that I was going to be attacked." Luckily, he was whisked out of harm's way when proprietors of a liquor and antique shop - Yeo Buan Heng Liquor Shop on Chander Road in Little India - gave him shelter.

At the risk of getting hurt themselves, they pulled Mr Sojka into the shop and locked its gates.

While the violence, which erupted on Race Course Road last Sunday, had been publicised in the media, tales of compassion from ordinary citizens were not widely known.

There were anecdotes of foreign workers who shielded women and children from rocks thrown by rioters. Others escorted passers-by out of the danger area.

Says Ms Irene Yeo, the shop's manager: "We were not trying to be heroes but he (Mr Sojka) could have been hurt. The rioters looked as if they wouldn't think twice about attacking anybody who got in their way."

For close to a year, Mr Sojka had frequented the Yeo family shop for drinks.

He had been in Little India to pass a book to a friend.

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