In a shocking incident that unfolded at Commonwealth Avenue, Singapore, the swift and courageous actions of five members of the public helped police subdue a 20-year-old man who was wielding a chopper and attacking innocent people, according to Channel NewsAsia.
The police have since said in a statement that the assailant acted alone and there were no signs indicating that it was an act of terror.
The Assault at Commonwealth Avenue
On Saturday evening, the tranquility of Commonwealth Avenue was shattered as the 20-year-old suspect went on a violent rampage, attacking unsuspecting individuals at various locations.
The assailant, armed with a knife, a chopper, and using his bare hands, targeted pedestrians at an HDB lift lobby, Margaret Drive Hawker Centre, and a park connector.
The police received a distress call at 7.05 pm on Saturday, reporting a man holding a chopper and running towards 301 Commonwealth Avenue.
Within eight minutes of the call, law enforcement arrived at the scene and, with the assistance of five brave members of the public, successfully arrested the suspect about 400m away at 1 Dundee Road – the address for Queens Peak condominium.
The Public Spiritedness Award was later presented to these individuals for their heroic intervention, including one of the victims, Emmanuel Ee Wei Chuan, who chased after the assailant after being attacked.
Victims and Injuries
The assailant, acting alone, was not known to the seven victims he attacked during the spree. Among the victims were two men aged 76 and 40, along with a six-year-old girl, who sustained minor injuries and were promptly taken to the hospital. Another three men aged 54, 21, and 20, as well as a 45-year-old woman, sustained minor injuries but declined further medical assistance.
The 20-year-old assailant will face charges in court for voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons. Preliminary investigations indicate that the attack was not an act of terror, and there is no known connection between the assailant and the victims.
A court order will be sought to remand the suspect at the Institute of Mental Health for a psychiatric assessment. This step is crucial to determine the mental state of the assailant and ensure public safety.
Singapore Police Force’s Statement
The Police, with the assistance of five members of the public, have arrested a 20-year-old Chinese man, for his suspected involvement in a case of voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons.
On 3 February 2024, at about 7.05pm, the Police received a call of a man holding a chopper running towards 301 Commonwealth Avenue. Police resources were immediately despatched and arrived at the location within eight minutes of the call. Police arrested the man at 1 Dundee Road, about 400m away, with the assistance of a group of members of the public who had earlier detained the man at 7.18pm.
Preliminary investigations revealed that the 20-year-old man had allegedly attacked seven persons with a knife, a chopper and his bare hands. Two men, aged 76 and 40, and a 6-year-old girl, who sustained minor injuries, were conveyed conscious to the hospital. They received outpatient treatment at the hospital. Another three men, aged 54, 21 and 20, and a 45-year-old woman sustained minor injuries and declined further medical assistance.
Preliminary investigations revealed that the man had acted alone and there were no indications to suggest that the incident was an act of terror. The man also did not have any criminal records.
The 20-year-old man will be charged in court on 5 February 2024 for voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons under Section 324 of the Penal Code 1871. A court order will be sought for the man to be remanded at the Institute of Mental Health for psychiatric assessment. The offence carries an imprisonment term of up to seven years, a fine, caning, or any combination of such punishments.
The Clementi Police Division also presented the Public Spiritedness Award to the three members of the public who were present at the ceremony, Mr Mok Kwong Heng, Mr Gangatharan s/o Saravanan and Mr Emmanuel Ee Wei Chuan for their courage and public spiritedness to detain the man before the arrival of the police.
Commander of Clementi Police Division, Assistant Commissioner of Police Serene Chiu said, “The Police would like to commend the five members of the public who detained the offender before the police’s arrival. Their bravery and intervention stopped the actions of the offender from causing further harm to the public. The Police have zero tolerance for criminals who endanger the safety of the public and will spare no effort to ensure they are dealt with severely, to the fullest extent of the law.”
The Police would like to remind members of the public that it is an offence to carry an offensive weapon in a public place without lawful purpose. The offence carries an imprisonment term of up to three years and at least six strokes of the cane.
Case exhibits ▼
Group photo of three Public Spiritedness Award recipients
From left to right: Mr Mok Kwong Heng, AC Serene Chiu, Mr Emmanuel Ee Wei Chuan and Mr Gangatharan s/o Saravanan ▼