A heated dispute between two youths left a bloody scene outside a shopping mall in Choa Chu Kang on Tuesday night after one of them was stabbed in the abdomen.
Culinary arts student Tan Zhi Long is in stable condition and recovering at the National University Hospital. His attacker, who is a course mate from hospitality school Shatec, has since been arrested.
The incident took place at about 9.30pm outside the McDonald's restaurant at Lot One Shoppers' Mall, located in Choa Chu Kang Avenue 4.
The 19-year-old victim was seen quarrelling with the suspect, believed to be in his 20s, before he was stabbed with a knife.
A shop assistant at the mall, who declined to be named, told The Straits Times on Wednesday that she saw the two gesticulating at each other before the scene turned violent. "Before I knew it, one man was stabbed and blood was staining his white bermudas," she said.
The two men, believed to be friends, had a dispute about a month ago that escalated recently after they were both posted to the same food outlet.
Chinese evening paper Shin Min Daily News reported on Wednesday that they were meeting outside the mall to thrash out their differences.
The victim had shown up with his cousin, while his attacker, who is known only as Yang, arrived with his girlfriend. Eyewitnesses said Mr Tan's cousin was not present when the two men and the girlfriend were talking.
Mr Tan told Shin Min that he was stunned by the assault, which left him with a stomach wound. "It happened so fast, I didn't know I had been injured until I saw blood flowing," he said.
The suspect and his girlfriend apparently remained at the scene after the attack, neither of them attempting to flee. When the police arrived, he reportedly held out both arms and challenged the police to arrest him.
Police investigations into the case are ongoing.
Youth violence has been in the spotlight in recent months after a 20-year-old full-time national serviceman was attacked by a group of young people outside Cineleisure Orchard earlier this year.
Police have since beefed up their presence at the popular youth hangout in the wake of the attack on June 15.
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