A 57-year-old man has been arrested for allegedly abusing a security officer physically and verbally.
Background of incident
The incident happened at around 10:20pm on Jul. 4, the Security Association Singapore (SAS) said in a media statement on Jul. 5.
Told man to wear mask before entering building
In a CCTV video supplied by SAS, the 46-year-old Malaysian security officer, Sures Perimal, could be seen standing in front of the sliding door entrance facing a zebra crossing leading to the carpark.
His duties as a security officer includes controlling traffic and reminding visitors to wear their masks before they enter the building, as per existing safe management measures.
He was stationed at the main entrance of Giant Hypermart at Tampines Retail Park, when a man dressed in a black hoodie and short pants attempted to enter the building.
Sures stopped the man as he was not wearing a mask, and subsequently told him that he had to put one on to enter the building.
He also told the man that he could purchase a mask from the Guardian pharmacy located at the entrance of the building, if he did not have a mask on him.
Man allegedly abused Sures verbally and physically
SAS said the man responded by allegedly hurling vulgarities at Sures, as he felt that Sures was rude and was unhappy at being called out for not wearing a mask.
After their interaction, he could be seen in the video staring at Sures from the entrance to the building for close to a minute, before he entered the building eventually.
Sures remained at his post and continued with his duties after the initial hostile encounter. Around a minute later, the man charged out of the building abruptly to allegedly shove and hurl vulgarities at him.
The Straits Times (ST) reported that the man spoke to Sures in Malay and said: "You think you very big? Gangster is it?"
"Then he became violent and started punching me," said Sures.
Felt scared and suffered "bruises and contusions"
He added that he felt "scared" as this was the first time that he has been attacked in his decade-long stint as a security officer, but did not "talk or fight back".
He has been trained not to do so, but to report abuses to his supervisor and the authorities instead, ST reported.
The SAS video showed a few members of the public, who witnessed the confrontation, intervening by separating the man from Sures and keeping him at a distance.
The police and an ambulance arrived shortly after.
Based on the assessment of paramedics, he did not have to go to the hospital for his injuries and resumed his shift till midnight, after taking a short break after the confrontation.
SAS stated that Sures suffered from bruises and contusions, while NTUC Deputy Secretary General Desmond Tan said on Jul. 5 night that he is on the mend and "doing ok".
Man, 57, arrested
SAS said Sures lodged a police report, and slammed the man for his alleged "sickening" actions, which was "unnecessarily senseless and violent" as Sures was "merely carrying out his duties".
Sures is employed by TwinRock, whose managing director said: "“Sures is a responsible officer who has worked with us for over six years, during which he has never faced any issues at work."
"He is soft spoken and diligent. I cannot imagine why anyone would confront him and assault him in this way."
The police told ST on Jul. 5 that a 57-year-old man has been arrested under the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) Act, and added that he will also be investigated for voluntarily causing hurt to a security officer.
SAS said in its Jul. 5 media statement that the association and TwinRock will continue to render their assistance to Sures.
USE said it has received 18 reports of abuse cases through their customer service center and mobile application in 2022.
The penalties under the Private Security Industry Act was amended recently.
With effect from May 1, those found guilty of voluntarily causing hurt to a security officer may be jailed for up to five years and fined up to S$10,000.
You can watch the video below.
Top image screenshot from video courtesy of Security Association Singapore and Union of Security Employees/Facebook