Man assaults security officer outside Giant hypermarket in Tampines allegedly after being told to wear mask
- The Security Association Singapore said it had received a report on an assault of a security officer at Giant Hypermart in Tampines on Monday (July 4) night
- The security officer was said to have advised a man who did not have a mask on to wear one before entering the building
- A CCTV clip showed the man later shoving and punching the security officer on his head
SINGAPORE — A security officer who was on duty in Giant hypermarket at Tampines Retail Park was assaulted on Monday (July 4) night allegedly by a man whom he had advised to put on a face mask before entering the building.
In a media statement on Tuesday, the Security Association Singapore said that it had received a report and video footage of the “egregious incident”, which happened at about 10.20pm at the main entrance of Giant hypermarket in Tampines.
The security officer who was on duty at the time — Mr Sures Perimal — was tasked, among other duties, to ensure that people who enter the building were wearing their masks as required by Singapore’s regulations to combat the spread of Covid-19.
Mr Perimal, 46, was said to have advised a man who did not have a mask on to wear one before entering the building or to buy a mask from a pharmacy near the entrance if he did not have one with him, the association said.
“The person was unhappy that Mr Perimal had called him out for not wearing a mask and after shouting some vulgarities at Mr Perimal, he entered the building. Mr Perimal continued carrying out his duties after this initial encounter with the person,” it added.
In a closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage shared by the association, a man in dark-coloured clothing and who appears not to have a mask on was approached by Mr Perimal at the building entrance.
The man then gestures towards the building and walks away from Mr Perimal. The man, however, continues to observe Mr Perimal from a distance for about 40 seconds.
A minute later, the same man appears in the footage and attacks Mr Perimal by shoving the security officer and punching his head.
Members of the public could be seen confronting the attacker and putting some distance between him and Mr Perimal. A Giant staff member could also be seen attending to Mr Perimal.
The attacker continues to gesture towards Mr Perimal as more members of the public appear to try to calm him down.
The Security Association Singapore said that Mr Perimal did not retaliate and suffered bruises and contusions as a result of the attack.
It added that it “strongly condemns this unnecessarily senseless and violent act of abuse against Mr Perimal, who was merely carrying out his duties”.
Mr Perimal’s employer, security agency TwinRock, told TODAY that it had assisted its employee to file a police report of the incident.
In response to TODAY’s queries, the police on said on Tuesday night that they were alerted to a case of assault along Tampines North Drive 2 at about 10.20pm the day before. They arrested a 57-year-old man in relation to an offence under the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) Act 2008.
“He will also be investigated for the offence of voluntarily causing hurt to a security officer under Section 17B of the Private Security Industry Act 2007. Police investigations are ongoing,” they added.
The police also said that they take a stern view towards any abusive behaviour against security officers who are carrying out their duties.
'SOFT-SPOKEN AND DILIGENT'
Mr Terence Stahlmann, TwinRock’s managing director, said that Mr Perimal has been an employee of the firm for more than six years and “has never faced any issues at work”.
“He is soft-spoken and diligent. I cannot imagine why anyone would confront him and assault him in this way,” Mr Stahlmann said.
Mr Raj Joshua Thomas, president of Security Association Singapore, said that the alleged assault is another “sickening incident of abuse against a security officer who was merely carrying out his duties”.
“Security officers play an integral role in ensuring our safety and security. As front-facing workers, they often have to deal with difficult people and situations.
“We all have a responsibility to support them and to cooperate them. We must have zero tolerance for any abuse of our officers,” said Mr Thomas, who is also a Nominated Member of Parliament.
The Security Association Singapore and TwinRock said that they will continue to render assistance to Mr Perimal. The association said that it will also continue working with its tripartite partners —unions, employers and the Government — to fight against the abuse of security officers and to raise awareness of the severe penalties for such offences.
Separately, NTUC deputy secretary-general Desmond Tan said that there is “no place for any form of abuse against our frontline officers who are performing their duties to keep us safe”.
Giving an update on Mr Perimal’s condition, Mr Tan said that officers from the Union of Security Officers — of which Mr Perimal is a member — had visited the man.
“I am told that although he has some facial injury, he is doing ok. I wish (Mr Perimal) speedy recovery,” said Mr Tan, adding that the NTUC and its affiliated unions will do “everything (they) can” to ensure the welfare and safety of security officers.
This latest incident came on the heel of cases where people have been charged over alleged violence against security officers.
Earlier in May, a man who was caught on video trying to drive his Bentley into the Red Swastika School while a security guard was standing in front of his car was hauled to court.
The man,Neo Hong Chye, 61, was charged with one count each of causing hurt to the security guard by a rash act, and driving without third-party insurance coverage.