Remember the knife attack that happened at the coffee shop near Block 111 Jalan Bukit Merah, at around 11:15am?
It’s hard to believe that the impetus behind the violence is so simple and insignificant, but it’s true.
The 50-year-old assailant, who used to work as an assistant at a youtiao (Chinese fried dough) stall, had attacked the 70-year-old elderly man because of the grudge he had been holding for over three years, simply because the victim got into an argument with him after he was short-changed a dollar.
Thankfully, the attack ended swiftly as the uncles at the scene banded together to subdue and press the attacker to the ground with the help of plastic chairs, until the police arrived at the scene.
The Singapore Police Force (SPF) has confirmed that the 50-year-old suspect had purportedly slashed the 75-year-old man’s head, and that the two were acquainted with each other.
The victim was conveyed to the hospital to receive seven stitches to the head, while the 50-year-old man was arrested for voluntarily causing harm by dangerous means.
Investigations are still ongoing.
Interview with the Victim
The victim, Mr Chen Jinshun, was sent to Singapore General Hospital for medical treatment. After receiving seven stitches to sew up the cut on his head, he was discharged from the hospital that afternoon.
Although there were some abrasions on his hands and legs, he still returned to the scene of the crime to thank the passers-by for their cooperation in saving him.
When the Chinese newspaper Shin Min Daily News interviewed him, Mr Chen told the reporters that he felt enraged and aggrieved, “I’ve only met him four times. The first time was roughly three years ago. I came to Telok Blangah Crescent’s Food Centre to buy some youtiao, and he gave me a dollar less in change, so I got into an argument with him. Afterwards, I never went back to his stall.”
Mr Chen had long forgotten this matter.
However, who could have known that when he was going to catch a bus at the bus stop near his house, the 50-year-old man would still recognise him as their shoulders brushed while they were walking past each other
Earlier on 9 June, Mr Chen was playing chess with his good friends at the coffee shop when the 50-year-old man suddenly threw a punch at face from the back. After causing Mr Chen to fall to the ground, he quickly turned around and fled.
Mr Chen called the police later, and it was only when they were going through the surveillance footage that he remembered that fateful incident which occurred three years ago.
The Day of the Attack
Yesterday morning (30 June), Mr Chen met up with his good friends at the coffeeshop to play chess while having some tea.
At this time, the male assistant grabbed a chopper from one of the stalls and rushed up to him.
Upon sensing the danger, Mr Chen tried to get up and run, but he accidentally tripped and stumbled, thus giving the male assistant a chance to brandish the knife towards the back left of his head, causing blood to emerge instantaneously.
Five Brave Defenders Suppressing the Slasher
Initially, the male assistant didn’t intend to let the attack end there, but fortunately, the people surrounding him immediately grabbed their plastic chairs and used it as shields. With the combined effort of a few people, they managed to use the plastic chairs to shove the male assistant to the ground.
One of the defendants, 71-year-old Zhang Mushui, took the opportunity to call the police and even informed Mr Chen’s family of the circumstances.
He recounted that the male assistant kept struggling to get free as he pressed against the ground, but he didn’t utter a word, and he refused to let go of the knife that was tight in his grip.
Hence, everyone didn’t dare to let down their guards in the slightest, and they held onto the plastic chairs in genuine fear that he would escape.
It would take about five minutes before the police arrived at the scene. They demanded the male assistant drop his weapon, then they came over to arrest him.
Mr Zhang also mentioned that a week or two prior to the attack, many residents and stall owners observed the male assistant loitering around the vicinity, and they caught a glimpse of his figure a few times.
The Relations Between Jason and the Stall Owners
Numerous stall owners at Telok Blangah Crescent Food Centre confirmed that the 50-year-old man used to work as an assistant at the youtiao stall.
A stall owner by the surname of Lin said that roughly three months ago, the daughter of the fruit stall owner accidentally hurt the male assistant’s hand as she was catching birds, which made him extremely unhappy.
The male assistant got into a dispute with the fruit stall owner, alarming everyone to the point where they called the police in to mediate. Ever since then, the male assistant never showed up again, and the youtiao stall also hired a new assistant.
Lin Pinhong, a 33-year-old beverage stall owner also stated that he would usually address the male assistant as “Uncle Jason”, and he’s been working at the youtiao stall for many years.
When Mr Lin took over the beverage stall from his father in 2017, he didn’t feel confident at all.
It was Jason who frequently encouraged him, and would regularly patron the beverage stall to support him, and boost his morale.
However, in the past year or so, Jason’s temperament has changed drastically. His mood was extremely low, he became reticent and scarce with words.
He started arguing with the customers last year, and this year he got into spats with the other stall owners.
After the incident with the fruit stall owner, he never saw him again.
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