Skip to main content

Advertisement

Advertisement

Praised by netizens, but policeman thought he ‘looked very ugly’ in Rochor Canal viral video

SINGAPORE — When he first spotted himself in a viral video, the police officer who entered Rochor Canal last Saturday afternoon (Sept 29) to nab and save a suspect thought he “looked very ugly”.

(From left) Special Constabulary Sergeant Chong Zhe Ming, Inspector Ishak Mohali, Sergeant Desmond Heng, Volunteer Special Constabulary Sergeant Sharon Ang, Sergeant Lee Zheng Biao, and Sergeant Caleb Kok were among the police officers who responded to a call for assistance on Sept 29, 2018.

(From left) Special Constabulary Sergeant Chong Zhe Ming, Inspector Ishak Mohali, Sergeant Desmond Heng, Volunteer Special Constabulary Sergeant Sharon Ang, Sergeant Lee Zheng Biao, and Sergeant Caleb Kok were among the police officers who responded to a call for assistance on Sept 29, 2018.

Follow us on Instagram and Tiktok, and join our Telegram channel for the latest updates.

SINGAPORE — When he first spotted himself in a viral video, the police officer who entered Rochor Canal last Saturday afternoon (Sept 29) to nab and save a suspect thought he “looked very ugly”.

“My hair was just in a mess,” said Sergeant Desmond Heng, 25, who swam in chest-deep waters to reach the suspect.

He has garnered praise from netizens for his “dedication” in the arrest of the 26-year-old man, who allegedly harassed members of a nearby church.

Sergeant Heng was among the officers who responded to a call for assistance at Our Lady of Lourdes Church on Ophir Road.

Eight officers from the Rochor Neighbourhood Police Centre arrived in four batches. Those who arrived before Sergeant Heng saw the suspect, who had a bloodied chin, lying face up in a drain near the church.

They did not enter the drain because it was slippery with algae and water. “We did not want any violent struggles or… injury,” Sergeant Lee Zheng Biao, 27, who arrived before Sergeant Heng, told reporters on Tuesday.

The officers told the man to move towards them but he did not heed their calls, edging instead towards the entrance to the canal some 100m away.

Police officers later found the man intoxicated and moving unsteadily as he “kept falling”. They could not discount the possibility of him drowning, said team leader Ishak Mohali, 49.

On Inspector Ishak’s instruction, Sergeant Heng went down a ladder into Rochor Canal. Keeping his boots on to protect his feet from sharp objects, he chose to keep his uniform on to signal to bystanders that he was a policeman on duty and to the suspect to “listen to (him)”.

“Our priority was… to save his life, whatever risk there was,” said Sergeant Heng, who joined the police force last April.

Swimming in breaststroke for 20m to 30m to the suspect, the officer said he could smell alcohol on the man, who was “hysterical” and did not seem to understand much English.

Sergeant Heng — who said he could swim well enough — placed his left arm across the man’s chest to lift his feet up and dragged him across the waters.

He had to overcome slight underwater currents and the weight of his uniform. With the help of another officer, he pushed the suspect up three to four metres in order for Inspector Ishak to pull the man out of the canal.

The man struggled after he was taken ashore and was held down by officers and attended to by paramedics.

He was taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital, where he was arrested for using abusive words against a public servant, intentional harassment and drunkenness in public places.

TODAY understands he is out on bail and investigations are ongoing.

After the incident, Sergeant Heng changed into a fresh uniform and resumed his duties just over an hour later.

On the praise from netizens, he said he acted as part of a team.

“I’m not very affected by the comments, negative or positive… I knew I had support, and I wish to let the public know that the police force will assist anyone who is in a dire situation or requires our assistance,” he said.

Inspector Ishak said the officers performed well. “I can see that they knew what to do when given instructions… They did a great job.”

Sign up for TODAY's WhatsApp service. Click here:
 

Sign Up

 

Read more of the latest in

Advertisement

Popular

Advertisement

Stay in the know. Anytime. Anywhere.

Subscribe to get daily news updates, insights and must reads delivered straight to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, I agree for my personal data to be used to send me TODAY newsletters, promotional offers and for research and analysis.