Singapore—Brian Dugan Yeargan, an American national who is a pilot for FedEx, made the news earlier this week when he was jailed for breaking Circuit Breaker rules last month. Mr Yeargan was sentenced to a month in jail on May 13.
The pilot, who is from Eagle River, Alaska, arrived in Singapore on April 3 and was issued a 30-day short-term visit pass. On that day, the Government announced the Circuit Breaker that would begin four days later.
Upon Mr Yeargan’s arrival, he was given a two-week stay home notice and was expected to stay in his hotel room at the Crowne Plaza Changi Hotel until April 17.
He had allegedly left his room around 11:15 am on April 5, according to The Straits Times. When authorities came to check on him at 11:30 am, he was not in his room.
The pilot pleaded guilty to one count of breaching the stay-home order when he appeared before the court late last month. But Mr Yeargan also told a judge that he did not receive a hard copy of the stay-home notice.
Deputy Public Prosecutor V. Jesudevan said that Mr Yeargan walked for half an hour from City Hall to Chinatown Point, going to four stores in the area, and buying a thermometer and some boxes of face masks.
The pilot said that there were between 10 to 20 people in each store he went to and around 1,000 people at the train station.
He added that it was hard to find the supplies he bought in Singapore back home in Alaska, and according to his lawyer, was wearing a mask when he went out on April 5.
As he was on his way to the train station to return to the hotel, he received a phone call from FedEx, and was told that he needed to stay in his room, and was, in fact, not allowed to leave it. Instead of taking the train, Mr Yeargan took a taxi directly back to the hotel. All in all, he was gone for three hours.
His lawyer told the judge that he had made an “error of judgment,” and that he was worried about his wife’s well-being back home in Alaska.
But prosecutors argued that Mr Yeargan’s reason for disobeying the stay-home notice had been “unreasonable,” and that he could have asked local FedEx staff to help him buy what he needed, or waited to go out until his stay home notice had been served.
They asked that the pilot be given a six to eight week jail sentence.
Mr Yeargan addressed the court at his hearing, saying, “I’d like to humbly offer my apologies and say I have the highest regard for the Singapore people and its laws.”
His parents back in Alaska have been worried about him, according to an article in Anchorage Daily News. His father said he did not know where Mr Yeargan is being detained.
The pilot had last talked to his parents on Mother’s Day, last Sunday (May 10). Since then, there has been no communication with him.
Noting that Mr Yeargan is a former U.S. Army Ranger, his father, Jim Yeargan, said, “He’s always sounded pretty good. That tends to make you tough. He’s taking care of himself.”
However, according to the report, he told his parents that he was worried about his wife and two sons, from whom he had been separated for over a month. But the good news is that he is not experiencing any symptoms of the coronavirus.
In an email to the Anchorage Daily News, FedEx said that it adheres, “to all regulations and guidelines from government authorities related to the containment of COVID-19, and ensures that it takes the necessary steps to maintain the high standards of behavior expected of our employees to protect the health and safety of our team members and the communities in which we serve.”
The pilot could have been jailed for six months and been fined up to S$10,000. —/TISG