SINGAPORE - It was a harrowing three minutes for one taxi driver during the wee hours of Thursday morning (Nov 19), after a passenger turned assailant armed with a pair of scissors robbed him.
The incident occurred at about 1am at Ang Mo Kio Ave 10.
The taxi driver, Mr Zheng Lianxing, 56, told Shin Min Daily News that he had picked up the male passenger, whom he described as "small-sized" and in his 20s, along Changi Road.
Said Mr Zheng: "During the half-hour journey, the man even chatted with me, and told me that he works at a Japanese restaurant."
Just as Mr Zheng reached Ang Mo Kio Ave 10 however, the passenger suddenly requested to alight at the Ang Mo Kio MRT station.
"But when we got there, he suddenly said he wanted to go back to the carpark at Ang Mo Kio Ave 10 instead. He then shifted to his position from the left side of the backseat to the right side, behind me."
Mr Zheng described how just as he was approaching the automated gantry of the carpark, the passenger suddenly pulled out a scissors with a 4-inch long blade and held it to his neck. The man then shouted, "this is a robbery, give me your money!"
Alarmed, Mr Zheng said he accidentally pressed on his accelerator, ramming the vehicle into the barricade.
The driver then took out several $50 dollar notes from his wallet, but in a bid to distract the robber, he pretended to drop the notes and and bent forward to pick it up.
Said Mr Zheng: "As the man was reaching out with his right hand for the cash, I grabbed his left hand that was holding the scissors with both my hands and yanked really hard, causing him to shout in pain."
After the short struggle, the robber quickly opened the door and fled, but not before making off with $200 in cash from Mr Zheng.
Although unharmed save for a few cuts on his neck, Mr Zheng mourned the loss of his hard-earned money, and has since made a police report.
Said the driver, who has been driving for 8 years: "I'm the sole bread winner of the family, with seven mouths to feed. This includes me and my wife, four kids and my mother."
"The $200 loss is a huge blow for me."
In his haste, the robber left behind his slippers and the pair of scissors. Blood stains were also found on the blade and on Mr Zheng's shirt, which he had to hand over to the police to analyse.
The case is under investigation, according to police.
This article was first reported in Shin Min Daily News and translated on AsiaOne.