On Saturday (23 March), a 72-year-old man shared on his Facebook account the ordeal that he encountered when an alleged conman spat and punched him for protecting his neighbour from getting cheated in Toa Payoh Central.
Insinhan Low Chong Bak wrote that a man who posed as a Housing and Development-approved contractor visited his house and said that his team will be coming over to do patch work on old ceiling the next day.
However, in order to do the patchwork, Low and other homeowners have to pay a deposit of S$100 and an additional S$200 once the work gets completed.
Low then asked the man which company he was representing, in which he showed a form of identification card that was hanging around his neck.
In a separate post, Low mentioned that he was unable to “read nor scrutinise” the name written on the card properly because the “hustler was waving it all the time”.
After hearing what the conman had to say, Low politely declined his offer and the man moved on to the next door.
However, this is when things took a dramatic turn.
After a while, Low’s 76-year-old neighbour came to his front door asking if the conman’s “proposition was genuine”. It appears that the hustler went to his elderly neighbour’s house – who lives alone – trying to convince him to patch his ceilings.
“As I felt I owe a duty to my neighbour, I replied that he should be careful and checked with authorities before committing himself,” he wrote.
The conman who followed closely his neighbour heard what Low said. He then raised his voice and told Low not to get involved.
“He started cursing me and even wanted to fxxk my 93 years old mother, who was standing behind me,”he explained.
In response, Low also raised his voice at the conman, who then allegedly spat on Low. This obviously angered Low, who then raced down the stairs to confront the man, who had already got away by taking the elevator to the ground floor.
After arriving at the ground floor, the conman apparently punched Low. Although Low managed to dodge the man’s fists, but sadly, he lost his balance and fell on the ground.
Thankfully, the elderly man had the energy to give a good fight back.
“However, I was very quick to jump back on my feet and lunged forward to punch him on the back of his head. He was taken aback and turned towards me, which gave me an opportunity to give a flying kick that landed on his stomach. I followed with a left punch to his chin. (It is vital to capitalise on the element of surprise when retaliating in a fight).
He stopped, stared blankly and walked off. He must have calculated that this old uncle still packs a punch!”
As Low was attempting to stop the conman from fleeing away, he asked his elderly neighbour to call the police, in which he did. However, the alleged conman managed to flee the scene before the police arrived.
After the incident, it was reported that Low suffered a slight bruised and swollen hand.
Responding to his post, close to 600 comments were received where a lot of them praised him for his bravery as he stood up against the conman and protected his neighbour. Some even thanked him for sharing his experience as it was a warning to the rest.
A bunch of netizens also revealed that they have seen this conman before and he has tricked other innocent individuals in the past. Some even shared similar experience that they’ve encountered with hustlers, while Facebook user Vu Quoc Nhuan said that such occurrence is common in Vietnam and it can quickly turn into a bloody event in no time.
Following his initial post on 23 March, Low wrote a new post the next day saying that the conman is still at large after he received numerous replies from the public. Netizens informed him that the man “has been going around HDB neighbours and indeed there were more victims to account for”.
“From the skirmish that I had, I gauged that he is a serial cheater. At this juncture, he has progressed to a state of desperation and aggressiveness .This was proven when he resorted to violence in punching me. By doing so, he manifested his inner most frustration due to the reason that I deprived his chance of cheating a $100 from my neighbour. I can predict his next step is crossing over to blatantly rob venerable old victim(s) when his cheating scheme fails,” Low warned.
In addition, the police have also informed him that his “only route to recourse is to make a magistrate’s complain”, which he is not keen in as he don’t want to spend money because he is a retired man.