A verbal quarrel over petty issues between a cleaner and a stall holder at a hawker centre at 17 Upper Boon Keng Road on Monday (June 6) escalated into the two men threatening each other with knives.

The stall holder, 59, took up a 17-cm knife against the 63-year-old cleaner, who had first brandished a table knife.

Later, he was seen later holding a 40-cm knife that he wrapped in cardboard, according to a report in Shin Min Daily News.

The Chinese daily reported that the cleaner chased the other man around the hawker centre while brandishing a table knife.

The two men had begun arguing earlier in the day, shouting at one another outside the hawker centre.

But things heated up quickly when the stall holder pushed the cleaner, who then fell to the ground.

Seeing a table knife from the floor, the cleaner picked it up and started to run after the stall holder. 

Onlookers attempted to talk him down after he left the hawker centre. He then started to walk around.

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But a few minutes later, he came back bearing a longer knife that had been wrapped in blue cardboard, a witness told Shin Min News Daily.

The police arrived shortly afterwards, telling AsiaOne that they had received an alert at 1:55 that afternoon concerning the fight that had broken out. 

The two men were then arrested for affray and possession of offensive weapons, and the incident is now under investigation. 

The three knives brandished in the fight were taken by the police as case exhibits.

The police added, “The 59-year-old man did not report any injuries while the 63-year-old man sustained bruises on his face and neck.”

The fight between the cleaner and the stall holder is just the latest in a string of incidents that have involved knives.

In September of last year, a Bedok man wielded a knife, and then refused to open the door to the police after allegedly getting upset over loud home renovations.

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More recently, in March, a man threw a knife at a policeman at Bukit Batok, hitting the officer’s face.

Also in March, the police shot a man who wielded a knife along Bendemeer Road after he refused to drop his weapon. /TISG

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