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Jail for drunk man who punched and threw hamburger at taxi driver

SINGAPORE — After drunkenly boarding a taxi while eating a hamburger, Salem Mohammad Iskandar punched the driver, who could not hear him properly, then shouted vulgarities at him.

Salem Mohammad Iskandar leaving the State Courts on Oct 28, 2021.

Salem Mohammad Iskandar leaving the State Courts on Oct 28, 2021.

  • Salem Mohammad Iskandar pleaded guilty to causing hurt, cheating and riotous behaviour
  • The court heard that he punched and threw a burger at a taxi driver while drunk
  • Separately, he got friends to order hundreds of dollars of alcohol from his former colleague, but did not pay for them
  • This was done to get back at the colleague for refusing to lend him some money

 

SINGAPORE — After drunkenly boarding a taxi while eating a hamburger, Salem Mohammad Iskandar punched the driver, who could not hear him properly, then shouted vulgarities at him.

Separately, in a bid to get back at his former colleague for rejecting his loan request, Salem got his friends to order hundreds of dollars of alcohol at a pub but they did not pay for the drinks. Salem used to work there.  

On Thursday (Oct 28), Salem was jailed for nine weeks and ordered to pay compensation of S$754 to his former boss. He has to serve another seven days behind bars if he cannot pay.

The judge did not make a compensation order for the taxi driver because he did not seek medical attention.

Salem, 34, pleaded guilty to one charge each of voluntarily causing hurt, cheating and exhibiting riotous behaviour in certain places. Three other similar charges were taken into consideration for sentencing.

The court heard that at about 3.30am on March 14, while intoxicated, Salem flagged down Mr Ong Siong San’s taxi in front of a McDonald’s outlet at Northpoint City mall in Yishun.

The 65-year-old taxi driver asked where he wanted to go but Salem was eating a hamburger. Unable to hear him clearly, Mr Ong enquired about his destination again.

Salem grew agitated, hurling vulgarities and the half-eaten hamburger at the taxi driver. He then grabbed Mr Ong by the collar and punched him in the left eye, causing his face to swell.

A 23-year-old man nearby heard the commotion and went over to check on Mr Ong, telling Salem that he had witnessed everything. He also called the police.

When police officers arrived shortly afterwards, they observed that Salem smelt strongly of alcohol while they were interviewing him.

He behaved aggressively by shouting and charging at the witness numerous times. The officers repeatedly told him not to do this but he ignored their reminders, leading to his arrest.

REJECTED BY COLLEAGUE

About two years ago in December 2018, Salem asked Mr Loh Aik Koon, who was the project manager of Pub Titanium at Tanglin Shopping Centre, to lend him S$400.

When Mr Loh refused, Salem took three groups of friends — comprising at least 15 people — over to the pub on Dec 3, 2018. He then convinced the bartender that they intended to pay S$554 for alcoholic drinks, when they did not mean to foot the bill.

Salem also vented his anger by smashing glasses worth about S$200 to S$300. No restitution has been made.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Lee Zu Zhao told the court that this was not Salem's first brush with the law. He had been jailed and caned for offences such as robbery and rioting with a deadly weapon.

In 2011, he was sentenced to five years’ jail and five strokes of the cane for trafficking in a controlled drug.

Most recently, he was jailed for 10 days in May 2018, several months before his most recent offence, for affray and disorderly behaviour.

In mitigation, Salem, who did not have a lawyer, said that he regretted his actions and asked for leniency.

For causing hurt, he could have been jailed for up to three years or fined up to S$5,000, or punished with both.

Related topics

court crime taxi driver assault verbal abuse cheating

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