In a recent court hearing, a driver, Ariel Fong Yi Ying, and her passenger, Javier Phua Xuan Yew, pleaded guilty to charges of voluntarily causing hurt in a dispute with a cyclist. The incident occurred on October 4, 2021, when Fong changed lanes to avoid parked cars and inadvertently entered the lane designated for oncoming traffic, which the cyclist and his girlfriend were using.
The incident occurred on October 4, 2021, along Lorong K Telok Kurau near East Coast Road in Singapore, according to the report.
The dispute began when Fong changed lanes to avoid parked cars but unintentionally entered the lane designated for oncoming traffic, where the cyclist Marin Segura Alberto, 38, and his girlfriend, Noor Farhanna Johari, 29, were riding. Alberto, feeling that Fong was driving too close, shouted “watch out” and gestured at her. Fong continued driving until she heard a thud at the rear of her vehicle, prompting her to stop.
The cause of the thud was not elaborated upon in the court documents.
Upon getting out of her car, Fong saw that Alberto had dismounted his bicycle and was gesturing at her. A verbal argument ensued between Fong and Alberto regarding who had the right of way. In the midst of the argument, Alberto swung his bicycle at Fong, surprising both her and Phua. Reacting to the swinging bicycle, Phua pushed Alberto away.
Enraged by Alberto’s actions, Fong grabbed him and pulled down his mask to identify him. She proceeded to punch him in the face. Phua joined in the assault by punching Alberto’s head. Meanwhile, Fong kicked Johari, Alberto’s girlfriend, and pulled her hair when she attempted to intervene.
As the situation escalated, Alberto and Johari tried to seek refuge in a nearby condominium. Fong aggressively grabbed Alberto, punched him again, and prevented Johari from helping him. Phua also assaulted Alberto by punching him in the head from behind. A scuffle ensued, resulting in both Phua and Alberto falling to the ground. Fong continued to punch and kick Alberto while he was on the ground.
Johari managed to separate Fong and Phua from Alberto and sought assistance from a security guard at the condominium’s guardhouse, who then called the police. Alberto sustained several injuries, including a 1cm cut to his lower lip, multiple abrasions on the back of his head, and a mildly displaced nasal bone fracture.
In court, Fong and Phua pleaded guilty to a single count of voluntarily causing hurt. Fong also had another similar charge taken into consideration during sentencing. They were individually fined S$4,000 and S$3,500, respectively. Prior to the court case, both Fong and Phua voluntarily compensated Alberto for his medical expenses, amounting to S$1,066.65.
According to the report by today, during the defense representation, Fong’s lawyer, Anil Singh Sandhu from Kertar & Sandhu LLC, urged District Judge James Elisha Lee to consider that Fong has recognized her mistake and emphasized that this incident was not premeditated but rather a result of Alberto swinging his bicycle.
Lawyer Ashwin Ganapathy from IRB Law LLP, representing Phua, highlighted that Phua’s actions were a response to Alberto’s initial use of the bicycle as a weapon. Ganapathy argued that Phua’s compensation to the victim demonstrated his strong remorse for his actions.
For voluntarily causing hurt, Fong and Phua could have been jailed for up to three years or fined up to S$5,000, or both. It is not clear if Mr Marin has faced any action for swinging his bicycle at Fong.
Stock image for illustration purpose only.
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