Those were the words of Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), N. Subramaniam, in court on Tuesday at the trial of construction worker, Mahalingam Thavamani, 27.
Mr Mahalingam, who was originally charged for rioting, had this downgraded to obstruction of a public servant.
Mr Mahalingam faces up to eight years in jail and/or a fine if found guilty.
He is accused of committing the offence during the riot in Little India last December.
The court on Tuesday heard that Mr Mahalingam had failed to disperse as instructed by police officers, and had insisted on entering Belilios Road which had been closed off by the authorities.
According to the TODAY newspaper:
“(Mahalingam) was becoming agitated, his tone grew louder and (he) was adamant that he wanted to enter Belilios Road,” said DSP Subramaniam, adding that the Indian national did not say why he wanted to do so.
“Sensing that the situation was becoming tense, I went forward and advised (him) that he cannot enter … and that he should leave.”
Instead, the crowd became rowdy and disobeyed instructions to disperse, he added.
Assessing the situation to be “escalating”, DSP Subramaniam decided to arrest Mahalingam since “no advice or persuasion was going to make him change his mind”.
But this account was disputed by Mr Mahalingam’s lawyer who said that his client was not trying to enter the road. Instead, he only wanted to wait for his brother whom he said had gone into the area to relieve himself.
When asked if he could recognise Mr Mahalingam as the person he had arrested that night, DSP Subramaniam said he could not.
Special Operations Command Operations Officer Lim Ke Wei, who had assisted in the arrest of Mr Mahalingam, also told the court that he too could not recognise Mr Mahalingam.
Defence counsel, B J Lean said the allegations against his client were false.
“There was no obstruction created by my client,” he said.
He said the police had “made a mistake charging him [Mahalingam] with rioting.”
Mr Lean asked Insp Lee Tian Huat of the Criminal Investigation Department, if he had “any evidence that the accused man had used any force or any behaviour that prevented the officer from discharging his duty.”
Insp Lee replied, “No”.
The hearing continues on Wednesday.
25 Indian nationals have been charged for various offences, from rioting to failure to disperse, during the riot. So far, six have pleaded guilty and have been sentenced to between 15 and 18 weeks’ jail.
Besides Mr Mahalingam’s case, there are 18 others still pending.