MTO report called for man who stopped MRT train after phone supposedly fell onto tracks

Wan Ting Koh
·Senior Reporter
·2-min read
Buona Vista MRT Station Singapore (Yahoo News Singapore file photo)
Buona Vista MRT Station Singapore (Yahoo News Singapore file photo)

SINGAPORE — A mandatory treatment order report was called for a man who pulled the emergency stop at Buona Vista MRT station after claiming to have dropped his handphone onto the train tracks. 

Clement Joshua Tan Teck Kim was suffering from schizophrenia, which might have contributed to the commission of his offence, the State Courts heard on Friday (23 April). 

Tan pleaded guilty to one count each of causing public annoyance to the public, using criminal force on an SMRT staff member, and of assaulting a security officer who tried to stop him from leaving. 

On 29 February last year, at around 11am, Tan sought assistance from control station after stating that he had dropped his phone onto the train tracks as he was boarding the train. The station manager said that he could only retrieve his phone the following day as this did not constitute an emergency worth disrupting train service for. 

However, Tan insisted on retrieving his phone and wanted to press the emergency stop plunger. The station manager called the police for assistance. 

After the police arrived, Tan calmed down and left the MRT station. 

At around 3.15pm, he returned to the MRT station to retrieve his phone. He claimed that he needed the phone urgently as his baby had developed a fever and he needed to speak to his girlfriend to bring his baby for treatment. 

He was told once again that his reason was not an emergency and train service could not be disrupted to retrieve his phone. 

Tan then went to the station platform to press the stop plunger. An SMRT assistant manager attempted to stop him, but Tan pushed the assistant manager before pressing the emergency plunger, causing the MRT train to stop. 

A delay of two minutes was caused to commuters in the MRT train.

An argument later broke out between Tan and several other staff members who followed him. A security officer on duty witnessed the commotion and saw Tan acting in an aggressive and abusive manner. When Tan attempted to leave, the security officer tried to stop him by grabbing his shirt but Tan punched him on the face. 

At about 4pm that day, SMRT lodged a police report over the incident. 

According to Tan's Institute of Mental Health report, he was diagnosed with schizophrenia. He was last seen on 4 May last year and had residual hallucination but was otherwise calm and coherent. It was not clear whether his mental condition had a contributory link to his offence. 

Tan will return to court on 21 May. 

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