Fine for Singapore delivery rider who took off mask to punch man, but hit his pregnant wife by accident

The court heard that delivery rider Gareth Tan Chin Wei believed a pedestrian had insulted him, so he stopped, then swung punches at the man, only to hit his pregnant wife instead. — TODAY file pic
The court heard that delivery rider Gareth Tan Chin Wei believed a pedestrian had insulted him, so he stopped, then swung punches at the man, only to hit his pregnant wife instead. — TODAY file pic

SINGAPORE, Sept 16 — A 32-year-old delivery rider was fined S$4,000 today for accidentally striking a pregnant woman on her face during the circuit breaker, while throwing punches at her husband.

In confronting the other man, Gareth Tan Chin Wei had taken off his face mask, which went against regulations to minimise the spread of Covid-19.

The Singaporean pleaded guilty to one count of causing hurt by a rash act and two other charges under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) (Control Order) Regulations 2020.

Another two charges of criminal intimidation and theft were taken into consideration for sentencing.

The incident happened at Nex shopping mall in Serangoon in the late hours of April 24, the court heard.

The circuit breaker period took place between April 7 and June 1, with movements and activities restricted. It was also mandatory to wear a face mask and keep a distance of at least 1m from one another.

Tan had started his day as a delivery rider at about 10am, making deliveries around Serangoon Central on his electric bicycle.

Around 11.59pm, he was riding along a pavement at an open area outside the mall while on the way home.

As he approached a 34-year-old Romanian man and his wife, a Venezuelan, the two men exchanged looks. The other man glanced at Tan as he felt Tan had travelled past him in a dangerous manner.

Tan looked back and perceived the man to have “uttered insulting words to him”, said Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Eugene Teh.

Growing angry, Tan turned around on his e-bicycle, rode ahead of the couple and parked it abruptly at the side of the path.

He then walked up to the other man, removed his face mask and began throwing punches at him.

The husband managed to dodge them but Tan ended up striking the pregnant woman, who was standing beside him.

Tan’s colleague immediately rushed in to stop the fight and separate them.

The woman sustained a slight scratch above her lips and complained of pain in her cheek and lower arm, but did not seek further medical attention.

The incident was captured on closed-circuit television camera footage. A mall security guard then called the police.

Tan was “fully aware” of the prevailing Covid-19 safe-distancing rules at the time, DPP Teh added.

For causing hurt by a rash act, Tan could have been jailed for up to a year, fined up to S$5,000 or both.

For breaking Covid-19 regulations, he could have been jailed for up to six months, fined up to S$10,000 or both. — TODAY

Related Articles