In a shocking incident, driver Yeo Kian Heng rode his illegal personal mobility device (PMD) through a footpath while intoxicated and ended up attacking a couple. His 10-year-old son tried to stop him and even begged one of the victims not to report his father to the police.
PMD Driver Attacks Couple After Drinking Beer
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The incident happened on 1 February (2020) when Yeo rode his personal mobility device on the pavement along Woodlands Avenue 7 while picking up his son from his sister’s home. The 57-year-old was already intoxicated having gobbled down two bottles of beer.
While his son was seated in the front of the PMD, they rode past a man and his wife. (He told the man that it was not his father’s road.)
Yeo got off his PMD angrily and confronted the couple while his son tried to hold him back. But his father still punched the 55-year-old man on the jaw, which caused him to fall to the ground. When Yeo didn’t stop attacking the man and continued to hit him while also stepping on his ribs as well as his groin area, his 50-year-old wife called the police.
All the while, the 10-year-old boy pleaded with the woman not to.
Later on, Yeo drove away on his PMD and left his son behind. The boy and the wife tried to chase after him for about 200m then stopped.
The drunken PMD driver then went up to them and tried to attack the woman as well but she managed to dodge his blows and kicks. She then ran back to her husband while Yeo rode away on his PMD again.
Thankfully, he was caught in the end.
Yeo Sentenced By The Court
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The victim was taken to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital after suffering rib fractures, a bleeding nose, and minor head injuries. The male victim was said to have been hospitalised for seven days.
During his trial on Thursday, Deputy Public Prosecutor Emily Koh urged the court to give Yeo jail time for 16 months and a day for attacking the couple. The court was also asked by the Land Transport Authority prosecutor Daniel Marini to issue him a fine. This, for riding the banned personal mobility device on a footpath.
But defence lawyer Eugene Neo claimed Yeo was the sole breadwinner of his family and he had responsibility towards his three children, elderly mother, and unemployed wife. The defence lawyer pleaded for leniency for his client.
While Yeo was a hostile party, District Judge Janet Wang allowed him to defer serving his sentence by two weeks. This was that he could make arrangements for his kids to be taken care of.
On Thursday (11 March), Yeo pleaded guilty and was jailed for 13 months, two weeks and a day along with a fine of $500.
However, Yeo is currently out on bail of $15,000 and will begin serving his sentence starting from 26 March.
Talking To Your Child About Violence
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This incident must have left the 10-year-old scarred for life. Having seen violence in such close quarters, his psychological health is what needs to be addressed at this point. Unfortunately, he is not alone.
According to a report by the World Health Organisation (WHO), “Globally, it is estimated that up to 1 billion children aged 2–17 years, have experienced physical, sexual, or emotional violence or neglect in the past year (1).”
So how do you help such kids overcome this trauma? Here are a few methods parents and guardians can try.
1. Openly talk to the child about their feelings and what they see. Encourage the child to talk about what they have seen or heard during their day and assure them of a safe space to express their feelings.
2. Let the child know that they are safe with you. From what they may be seeing on television or the internet, the child might become fearful and anxious over their safety. Reassure them that they will be safe as there are people – like yourself- who watch over them.
3. Have conversations with the child about bullying. It is important to talk about bullying as well and teach kids to resolve conflicts without having to engage in any acts of violence.
4. Teach the kids about what they can do if ever they feel unsafe. Let them know that in the face of danger, they can approach either you or a trusted adult about it.
5. Be a good role model yourself. Try to assess your behaviour and how you react to such things for the child can surely learn from your own actions.