Home News Man jailed for punching Chinese national in MRT over reserved seat dispute

Man jailed for punching Chinese national in MRT over reserved seat dispute

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Chin Poh Heng, 49, was jailed for two weeks yesterday (May 18) for punching and kicking a Chinese national several times for being slow in giving up his seat to an old woman. The victim, Mr Chen Zongxi, 32, is a construction worker.
The incident happened last September, when both men were in the train headed towards the Newton MRT station. At about 11.45pm when an elderly woman entered their cabin, Chin tapped Mr Chen’s shoulder and asked him to give her the reserved seat he was seating on.
Mr Chen informed Chin that he had consumed a few cans of beer prior to the train ride and so needed some time to stand up. But Chin became agitated thinking that the victim was being slow in giving up his seat to the old woman, and punched the left side of Mr Chen’s forehead several times with his right hand.
Mr Chen reeled in pain and covered his head to shield himself. But that did not stop Chin. He continued attacking the odd job labourer and even kicked him once at his stomach. When the train stopped at Newton, Chin tried to leave the scene of the assault, but was restrained by the other train passengers. The MRT staff detained both men after Mr Chen pulled the emergency button to inform the train service operator of the incident.
A medical report from Tan Tock Seng Hospital produced by Mr Chen showed that he had suffered bruises around his eyes and left forehead, and a cut over the bridge of his nose. He was given two days of outpatient medical leave.
Chin pleaded guilty to one count of voluntarily causing hurt to Mr Chen. The trial judge also took an unrelated criminal intimidation charge against Chin into consideration in sentencing him. According to court documents, Chin had threatened to throw a chair at a woman in a Sembawang Vista flat on 24 Sep 2014.
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