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Police arrest man who swung sword at passers-by, cars near Buangkok Square mall

SINGAPORE — A man who was caught on video swinging a sword at several cars along Buangkok Crescent on Monday (March 14) afternoon has been arrested by the police after he was detained by members of the public for his actions.

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  • The man was arrested after he was detained by five members of the public
  • The attack had damaged at least three vehicles and injured two members of the public and the attacker himself
  • Eyewitnesses told TODAY that that man appeared to be in his 20s or 30s, with one saying that he did not appear to be in the right state of mind
  • The MP for the area, Ms Ng Ling Ling, said she has asked the police to step up patrolling and safety measures in the area

SINGAPORE — A man who was caught on video swinging a sword at several cars along Buangkok Crescent on Monday (March 14) afternoon has been arrested by the police after he was detained by members of the public for his actions.

The police told TODAY that aside from damaging at least three cars outside the Buangkok Square shopping centre, the unidentified man had allegedly swung the sword towards members of the public.

Two members of the public, and the man himself, had sustained minor injuries, said the police. No further details on how the injuries were sustained were given.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force told TODAY, without going into detail, that one individual was taken to the Sengkang General Hospital for minor abrasion.

Two others were assessed for minor injuries, but they refused to be sent to the hospital.

The police, who responded to the incident at around 1.55pm, have since arrested the man for criminal intimidation and possession of an offensive weapon. The sword was seized as a case exhibit.

Investigations are ongoing, said the police.

The incident was caught on video taken from a distance and uploaded onto the Facebook group on Monday afternoon at around 3pm. There are two different versions of the video being circulated online, each lasting between two and three minutes.

The footage showed the man, dressed in a dark-coloured tank top, long pants and sporting a crew cut, walking in the middle of a two-lane road as he approached a stationary white car with a sword unsheathed.

As the man approached the car and pointed the tip of the sword at the front passenger window, the driver drove off and the man swung the sword at the car. It appeared to hit the vehicle’s rear.

He was then seen walking on the opposite side of the road and towards the direction of the shopping centre where he again appeared to hit another passing vehicle.

At one point in the video, he was also seen lunging at a pedestrian, but appeared to lose his balance. Thereafter, several people were seen rushing forward to detain the man.

Those found guilty of criminal intimidation could be jailed up to two years, or fined, or both.

For the possession of an offensive weapon in a public place, the penalty is a jail term of up to three years and at least six strokes of the cane.

The Member of Parliament (MP) for the area, Ms Ng Ling Ling, wrote on Facebook that she has asked the police to step up patrolling and safety measures in the area.

"I'm especially heartened to know that five members of the public dashed forward to help and managed to pin down the suspect, while awaiting for police to arrive. Their brave and selfless acts are truly commendable and exemplary," said the Ang Mo Kio Group Representation Constituency MP.


Several police vehicles were still seen parked near the shopping centre when TODAY visited the scene of the attack at around 4pm.

Eyewitnesses told TODAY that they were left shaken by the attack, and never thought this would happen in their quiet residential neighbourhood in Buangkok, which is located near Sungei Punggol and Sengkang train depot.

An infant care centre is also located a minute's walk away from the incident site, though staff members said they were unaware of the incident and declined to speak further.

Three eyewitnesses said they have not seen the man before Monday. One of them, Ms Ika Saputri, said she heard the man shouting a religious chant twice while she was at work in an adjacent Housing and Development Board flat.

The 26-year-old domestic worker rushed to the window, and saw the man unsheathe his sword and attacked a car, she said in Bahasa Indonesia.

Another eyewitness, Ms Farah Aisya, 17, saw the man attack a person at a pedestrian crossing linking the mall to the opposite housing estate. The pedestrian appeared to be holding out his phone, as if he was recording the aggressor before he was attacked, she said.

Madam Sng, 70, who was standing at the opposite end of the pedestrian crossing when the man lunged at the pedestrian said the latter was taller than his attacker, and that the pedestrian was able to block the attack that appeared to be directed at his head.

Several men rushed forward from the McDonald's outlet at the mall to pin the attacker to the ground. Mdm Sng, who only wanted to be known by her surname, said in Mandarin that the man did not look to be in the right state of mind.

"It was so scary, he had such a long blade," said Mdm Sng, who was on the way to see the doctor with her husband.

"My husband wanted to cross the road, but there is a man with a blade... I didn't want to cross, but I told my husband: 'If you go ahead, he might kill you.'"

Related topics

crime Buangkok criminal intimidation

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