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61-year-old male driver of Bentley arrested after ‘dangerous’ moves to push back Bedok school staff, security officer

SINGAPORE — The Union of Security Employees has filed a police report against a driver who was captured in a video pushing against a security officer with his car at Red Swastika School in Bedok North.

A screenshot from a video showing a security officer and a staff member of Red Swastika School preventing a car from entering the school compound.

A screenshot from a video showing a security officer and a staff member of Red Swastika School preventing a car from entering the school compound.

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  • The police have arrested a 61-year-old male driver who was captured in a video pushing against a security officer with his car at Red Swastika School 
  • The Union of Security Employees has filed a police report against the driver
  • The video showed a white Bentley car inching forward against the officer outside the school's entrance on Jan 11 morning
  • The driver did so despite attempts by the officer and a school employee to prevent the car from entering the compound 
  • Education Minister Chan Chun Sing said his ministry is looking into the case

SINGAPORE — The police have arrested a 61-year-old male driver who was captured in a video pushing against a security officer with his car at Red Swastika School in Bedok North

In a statement on Tuesday (Jan 11), the police said that they were alerted to an incident involving a car driver and a security guard at the primary school at about 11.40am.

"The 61-year-old male driver was arrested for a rash act causing hurt. The 62-year-old male security guard sustained minor injuries. Police investigations are ongoing," they added.

The arrest comes after the Union of Security Employees told TODAY that it had filed a police report against a driver.

Mr Raymond Chin, the union’s general secretary, said that it had done so at about noon on Tuesday.

“We filed it because we think it’s not right for the driver to treat the security officer in this manner.” 

A Facebook post by the union on Tuesday identified the security officer involved as Mr Neo Ah Whatt.

"The union is very disturbed by this case of physical abuse. It is particularly egregious given that the offender had deliberately driven against the flow of traffic, into the officer, just to get his way into the school.

"The anger from the community and on social media is fully justified because of how the driver had endangered Brother Ah Whatt’s life, children on their way to school and others," the union said in the post.

It urged everyone to respect security officers and to not abuse them. It added that they had provided Mr Neo with "some relief vouchers and nourishment".

In a Facebook post on the same day, Education Minister Chan Chun Sing said that his ministry was looking into the case.

A video of the incident, which was circulating on social media, showed a white Bentley car inching forward against a security officer outside the entrance of the primary school.

This was despite attempts by the officer and a school staff member to prevent the car from entering the compound.

The video showed the staff member talking to a passenger of the vehicle, who was outside the car.

After the passenger got into the car, the driver inched the vehicle forward, forcing the security officer to move backwards.

Mr Chin said that the incident happened around 7.30am on Tuesday. 

The driver had a valid pass to enter the school but jumped the queue to try to enter the compound via an entrance where the security guard was controlling traffic, he added.

However, this caused some unhappiness among motorists waiting in front, so the driver then tried to enter via an exit gate next to the entrance.

"So therefore, the officer stood there to prevent him from going in," Mr Chin said. 

He could not confirm whether the driver was a parent of a student at the school.

He stressed that the union does not condone the driver's behaviour.

“That’s no way to treat a security officer. He was just doing his job. There was no need for the driver to inch his car forward in such a dangerous manner.” 

Mr Neo, who has been working at the school for about three years, is on medical leave for three days. He visited a clinic after feeling pain in his right knee after the incident. 

The union would follow up with him and provide him with any help that he needs, Mr Chin said.

In a Facebook post on Monday, Mr Chan said that he was aware of the video showing the driver using his car “to engage in dangerous manoeuvres against a security officer and a school staff”.

“This is unacceptable behaviour. This is not the way we should behave towards our security and school personnel who are performing their duties to keep our schools and our children safe,” he added.

In a statement on Tuesday, the Security Association Singapore called the behaviour of the driver "utterly deplorable".

Mr Raj Joshua Thomas, the association's president, said: "Security officers’ duties include ensuring that only authorised persons and vehicles enter the premises they are protecting and in an orderly manner. Members of the public should cooperate with them.

"It is completely unacceptable for members of the public to try to get their way by bullying, intimidating, causing physical harm to or in any other way harassing officers while they are performing their duties."

TODAY has asked Red Swastika School, a primary school, for comment.

CLARIFICATION: An earlier version of this report quoted Mr Raymond Chin, general secretary of the Union of Security Employees, as saying that the driver of the Bentley did not have a valid pass to enter the school. He has since clarified that the driver had a valid pass but jumped the queue to enter the compound.

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Red Swastika School Chan Chun Sing MOE rash act security officer driver arrest

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