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Court orders re-arrest of youth charged over TikTok backflip stunt, frog abuse, consuming cannabis

SINGAPORE — A district court on Friday (Nov 5) issued a warrant of arrest for a 19-year-old man for the second time in two months, after his parents could not wake him up to attend scheduled court hearings this week.

Court orders re-arrest of youth charged over TikTok backflip stunt, frog abuse, consuming cannabis

Ralph Wee (left) in a picture taken in July 2021. A screengrab of a TikTok video (right), where a young man is seen in a rhinoceros enclosure at the Singapore Zoo.

  • Ralph Wee Yi Kai, 19, faces six charges including trespass, vandalism and consuming a specified drug
  • He was remanded in September for a month after allegedly breaching bail conditions
  • He was then released on bail of S$20,000 in October
  • A judge on Friday ordered him to be arrested once more when he did not turn up in court
  • His lawyer did not object to the warrant of arrest being issued

 

SINGAPORE — A district court on Friday (Nov 5) issued a warrant of arrest for a 19-year-old man for the second time in two months, after his parents could not wake him up to attend scheduled court hearings this week.

The prosecution revealed that Ralph Wee Yi Kai may also face four new sets of criminal charges, including cutting his electronic tag while out on bail.

He now faces six charges, which include trespassing into the Singapore Zoo’s rhino enclosure to perform a backflip stunt. He had posted a TikTok video of the backflip, which has since been removed from his account.

He was first hauled to court in July and released on bail, but allegedly breached bail conditions by not showing up for urine tests at the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB). A warrant for his arrest was issued after CNB could not contact him.

He was then arrested and charged with abusing a frog to death in his friend’s Sentosa Cove home last year, before being held in remand for a month from Sept 15 onwards.

At the time, Wee’s lawyer, Mr Shashi Nathan from law firm Withers KhattarWong, expressed concern that Wee was having suicidal tendencies, having been at the Institute of Mental Health.

Then on Oct 13, Wee was released on bail of S$20,000 after being charged with consuming a cannabinol derivative — which comes from the banned drug cannabis — around Aug 6 when he was out on bail.

He was then scheduled to turn up for a pre-trial conference on Tuesday this week. However, Mr Nathan told the court on Friday that he had “difficulties waking up and has been keeping awake for long hours”.

As for Friday afternoon’s hearing, the lawyer said Wee’s parents had reminded him of it last night. “They tried to wake him up today but they were unable to rouse him,” he added.

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Melissa Lee, who asked for bail to be revoked, said that the lead investigation officer had told her last week about Wee reoffending while out on bail.

He had purportedly cut his e-tag on Oct 26, about two weeks after he was released on bail again. He may also face drug-related charges but DPP Lee said the charges have not been finalised yet to her knowledge.

Mr Nathan responded that after Wee was remanded for the first time, there was a significant improvement in his behaviour and condition, but the defence counsel added that he would not be objecting for bail to be revoked this time.

“We explained that there was quite a lot of difficulty in looking after him,” the lawyer said.

Mr Nathan added that he would work with the prosecution to come to a sentencing position, and work towards meeting the original plead-guilty date that was set for Nov 22. He also said Wee could be remanded till then.

District Judge Brenda Tan noted that she can only either issue a warrant of arrest or revoke bail but not both.

She ordered the first option on the basis that Wee had allegedly reoffended, to which Mr Nathan said police officers could go to Wee’s home to wake him up and arrest him.

The judge also arranged for a hearing on Dec 16 for Wee’s father to show why the bail of S$20,000 should not be forfeited.

Wee’s other charges include mischief and vandalism.

Court documents showed that he purportedly vandalised a bus-stop information panel along Sixth Avenue near the Bukit Timah Area at 2.40am on Oct 9 last year by hitting it. The damage amounted to S$900.

That same morning, he is said to have hit the side mirrors of two luxury cars — a BMW and a Mercedes-Benz — parked along nearby Sixth Crescent.

The damage to the BMW totalled about S$1,669 and that for the Mercedes-Benz came to around S$2,793.

Those convicted of consuming a specified drug can be jailed for at least a year and up to 10 years or fined up to S$20,000, or punished with both.

If convicted of causing unnecessary pain and suffering to the frog, he could be jailed for up to 1.5 years or fined up to S$15,000, or both.

Vandalism carries a maximum punishment of three years in jail and a fine of S$2,000. Offenders can also be caned.

Related topics

court crime mischief Singapore Zoo white rhino TikTok police

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