Man tasered in scuffle

SINGAPORE - Just two days earlier, while sniffing glue, he allegedly hit a police officer and was shot with a Taser, an electroshock weapon.

Out on bail, he returned to his flat at Block 52, Chin Swee Road.

Yesterday, The New Paper tracked down the man, a 50-year-old cleaner.

As he described what happened on Saturday, he pointed to a plastic bag which looked like it contained glue. Several times, he took deep breaths from the bag.

He said: "I was sniffing glue when a group of policemen appeared at my door. I was very scared so I put up a fight."

"My whole body suddenly felt numb and only knew what really happened in the ambulance. I found out they used a Taser," said the cleaner, who has been living there for about a year.

Described as a troublemaker by his neighbours, he allegedly became a nuisance on Saturday and someone called the police at 7.52pm, requesting for assistance at the block.

Some neighbours are so afraid of him, they lock themselves in when he walks around the block.

Madam Lee Geok Hin, 60, who lives a few doors away, claimed it is a common to see him sniffing glue out of a red plastic bag.

"I always see him every evening doing it. He does it at the common corridor and makes a lot of noise too," said Madam Lee.

"I'm so wary of him that I removed the chairs that I had placed outside so that he won't inhale the glue right outside our unit," she continued.

So on Saturday night, when neighbours heard him shouting, they shut their doors and some even turned off their lights hoping he would go away.

VIOLENT

The police arrived to see the cleaner sniffing glue.

He put up a violent struggle, swinging his arms and attempting to hit the officers who were trying to arrest him.

One of the officers then discharged his Taser to incapacitate the man.

A police spokesman said: "The man was subsequently arrested for inhaling intoxicating substance and using criminal force against a public servant discharging his duty."

Neighbours said this is not the first incident involving the use of a Taser at the block. On March 30, a 47-year-old man was also shot with a stun gun when he behaved aggressively.

Police had responded to a call about drunk men causing a nuisance.

The man was subdued and arrested.

OTHER TASER INCIDENTS

A Taser was used by police 11 times in 2012 and 13 times last year, a police spokesman said. Here are some instances:

SEPT 15, 2013

A British tourist was subdued with a Taser after he charged at a police officer during a brawl.

Rory Lee Hipgrave, 28, got into a fight with two employees at The Vault, a bar along South Bridge Road.

The fight ended when police arrived but Hipgrave charged at Sergeant Shahidah Hamid, who used her Taser to stop him.

JAN 5, 2013

A drunk man in his 40s was pursued by 10 policemen and eventually subdued with a Taser at Ang Mo Kio Avenue 5.

He was allegedly holding a 50cm-long metal rod and had approached the officers in a threatening manner.

NOV 28, 2012

A 50-year-old man had to be shot with a Taser after a two-hour standoff with police at a Hougang coffee shop.

The man had tossed tables, chairs and cutlery. He then grabbed a liquefied petroleum gas cylinder and a lighter and threatened to blow up the coffee shop.

tnp@sph.com.sg

This article was published on April 15 in The New Paper.Get The New Paper for more stories.