A repeat offender who has a history of attacking taxi drivers, reoffended once again after being released from prison.
Tan Wee Ming, 33 years old, was sentenced to 5 weeks imprisonment after pleading guilty to 3 charges, including the use of criminal force.
Another two charges for refusing to pay taxi fares were considered for his sentencing – he had attacked three taxi drivers in separate incidents after refusing to pay for the rides.
In August 2018, Tan boarded a 63-year-old man’s taxi at Sultan Plaza with a woman at about 7am, asking for a ride to Bukit Timah to drop her off, and then to Ang Mo Kio.
The driver was initially there to pick up his wife from work, but accepted Tan as a customer and told him that his wife would be sitting in front.
Tan agreed to it, because he knew it would be hard to find another taxi.
At the end of the trip, when the driver asked Tan for payment of the taxi meter fare of $42, Tan refused to pay because he felt it was too expensive.
He then alighted from the taxi, and the driver then confronted him, and Tan then pushed the driver’s shoulder, causing the driver to almost fall down.
The driver felt pain in his shoulder after the incident and received 3 days of medical leave.
The police later found Tan at a coffeeshop nearby on the same day, and he was then placed under investigation.
The police then tried to facilitate restitution, and Tan then offered the driver $62, which the latter refused and told him that he should be covered for the earnings that he lost during his medical leave.
Tan was picked up by another 58-year-old taxi driver in January 2020, along Geylang Road.
He also ignored the driver after being told that his taxi fare from Geylang to Ang Mo Kio was $14.80, and the driver then took out his phone to take a photo of Tan.
Tan then moved towards the driver to snatch his phone, resulting in the latter stepping back and falling down – the driver ended up injuring his knee.
One more incident happened in March 2019, when Tan refused to pay a $14 taxi fare from Geylang to Ang Mo Kio, with the Deputy Public Prosecutor Benedict Teong pointing out to the court that according to the driver, Tan had reeked of alcohol at the time.
Tan shoved the driver when being asked to make payment for the taxi fare.
DPP Teong said that Tan is a recalcitrant offender who is undeterred and unrehabilitated, and asked for the given 5 weeks imprisonment for him.