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Youth charged over TikTok backflip stunt in rhino enclosure faces new charge of killing a frog

SINGAPORE — A 19-year-old teenager, who was first hauled to court two months ago, has been further charged with abusing a frog by placing it on a foosball table and directing a ball at “high speed and force” towards it.

Youth charged over TikTok backflip stunt in rhino enclosure faces new charge of killing a frog

Ralph Wee Yi Kai (pictured), 19, is accused of wantonly causing unnecessary pain and suffering to a frog on Dec 24, 2020 at a Sentosa Cove home.

SINGAPORE — A 19-year-old teenager, who was first hauled to court two months ago, has been further charged with abusing a frog by placing it on a foosball table and directing a ball at “high speed and force” towards it.

Ralph Wee Yi Kai was first charged in July with criminal trespass, after purportedly jumping into an enclosure at the Singapore Zoo on Dec 17 last year and posting a TikTok video of a backflip. 

The video, which has since been removed from his TikTok account, was circulated online.

Wee is now accused of wantonly causing unnecessary pain and suffering to the frog on Dec 24 last year at a Sentosa Cove home.

It sustained injuries after being struck by the ball and died shortly afterwards, court documents stated.

It is unclear if that was his place of residence or whether the frog belonged to anyone.

Video clips from Instagram Stories of what appears to be the same incident had also circulated online, showing a group of teenagers unboxing several live frogs and hitting a ball around on the table, with one frog trying to avoid being hit.

The National Parks Board’s Animal and Veterinary Service then said it was investigating.

On Wednesday (Sept 15), Wee was taken back to court where his bail sum of S$15,000 was revoked. He has been held on remand in Changi Prison since then.

A police prosecutor applied for no bail to be offered, saying Wee had allegedly breached bail conditions by not showing up for urine tests at the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB), which is awaiting reports on Wee potentially abusing prescribed drugs.

The prosecutor added that CNB was unable to contact the accused. A warrant of arrest was then issued against him on Monday.

Wee’s lawyer, Mr Shashi Nathan from Withers KhattarWong, expressed concerns about his client having suicidal tendencies. He told the court that Wee had been at the Institute of Mental Health on Monday, and asked for him to be remanded at Changi Prison’s Complex Medical Centre.

District Judge Terence Tay acknowledged this and ordered for the prison to receive this information.

Wee will return to court on Oct 13.

He now faces five charges in total — one count of criminal trespass over the backflip stunt, three unrelated charges of mischief and vandalism, and one of causing unnecessary pain and suffering to the frog.

Those convicted of the last offence can be jailed for up to 1.5 years or fined up to S$15,000, or punished with both.

Court documents showed that Wee allegedly 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 — at the 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.

Related topics

animal abuse crime court TikTok Frog white rhino Singapore Zoo

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