Pinned on the ground, 21-year old Anderson Tan Lin He, struggled to breathe as he was also being held in a chokehold by a police officer.
Tan said he almost passed out of consciousness before other police officer arrived on the scene and he was released from the grip.
On 26 July (Sunday), Tan was walking in Bukit Panjang, heading towards Senja LRT when he was stopped by a police officer who had just alighted from his patrol vehicle.
According to Tan, the Chinese uniformed officer called out to him from the back, “Eh, you stop there.”
The uniformed officer, whom Tan approximate to be in his mid-twenties, then asked, “What is your problem?”
Tan, who told The Online Citizen (TOC) that he has had his fair share of brushes with the law, rebutted the officer by saying, “I can tell you my problem, but are you capable of solving it?”
The officer then asked for Tan’s identity card (ID).
Tan complied and handed it over to the officer.
While inspecting the ID, the officer asked, “Why you so guai lan [cocky, rude]?”
“I guai lan also never disturb anybody,” retorted Tan.
The police officer told Tan to show some respect for him.
“Respect police?” Tan said. “Basic respect you earn yourself one. If you want respect for yourself, you must respect others first.”
The argument went on for awhile and the officer got very agitated, according to Tan.
Tan then asked if the police officer was done with checking his ID and said he wanted his it back.
The police officer replied saying, “Wait, haven’t ok yet.”
Tan replied, “You want to wait until durian drop down is it?”
Tan said the officer responded immediately with vulgarity, and said that he was going to arrest Tan.
Tan questioned why he was being arrested.
The officer did not explain but instead pinned Tan down on the ground and handcuffed him.
The other police officer who was apparently was the partner of the first officer, proceeded to cable-tie Tan’s legs to restrict his movement.
After handcuffing the Tan, the Chinese officer wrapped his arm over Tan’s neck and choked him, making Tan grasp for air.
Tan’s friend, Dahnan, who was with him, asked the police to stop what was being done to Tan.
However, the police officer told him to “fxxx off”, according to Dahnan.
Tan said that he nearly blacked out twice during the 3-5 minutes ordeal and had saliva dripping from his mouth because of the chokehold.
It was only when two more police cars arrived at the scene that the two police officers release Tan from their grip.
One superintendent who was with the group of officers that just arrived, asked Tan what had happened.
The superintendent proceeded to cut the cable tie off Tan’s leg and asked that the latter be brought back to the police station.
Tan was subsequently charged for disorderly behaviour and was kept in detention overnight at the Jurong Police station.
He was later released on $5000 bail.
Tan told TOC, “How can a police officer arrest someone by choking his neck? Shouldn’t he just restrain the hands?”
He said that if the other police officers had not arrived on time, he might have passed out or even died as a result of the chokehold.
Dahnan asked how police officers could behave in such a manner, and use disproportionate force against suspects.
He also questioned the police officer’s vulgar language. TOC wrote to the police on 2 August about the incident but has yet to receive any response from the police.
TOC understands that the police officer who restrained Tan with the chokehold has apologised to him in person since.
However, the charge against Tan for disorderly behaviour still remains.
On 2 April this year, a man claimed that he was injured by a group of plainclothes police officers after he flipped the identification card of one officer who was taking down his particulars.
Mr Lim Chin Huat, 40, filed a police report on Saturday, 4 April, against the group of officers after sustaining multiple injuries from their actions.
Mr Lim was later called up to help with the investigation but there has been no further updates from the police on the case.