Man with urge to urinate jailed for shoving bus driver's face over delay

·Senior Reporter
·2 min read
A man with his hand raised, palm facing forward. (PHOTO: Getty Images)
A man with his hand raised, palm facing forward. (PHOTO: Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — A male commuter who urgently needed to urinate attacked a bus driver whom he thought was delaying his journey.

Isman Abdullah, 63, alighted from bus 61 and then re-boarded the bus from its front door in order to shove the 35-year-old driver in his face over the alleged delay.

The driver had been answering a commuter’s questions about directions.

Isman, a cleaner, was jailed for five weeks on Tuesday (5 October) on one count of voluntarily causing hurt to the driver, which he pleaded guilty to. He was also fined $1,000 for failing to wear his mask over his nose and mouth in the same incident.

On 5 November last year, the driver was driving bus 61 along its usual route when Isman boarded at night. He boarded from a bus stop at Cencon Building, along MacPherson Road.

The driver noticed that Isman was wearing his mask pulled down to his chin, and reminded Isman to wear his mask properly. Isman complied before taking a seat at the rear of the bus.

The bus then continued on its way. At one stop, a commuter asked the driver for directions to a church at Kampong Bahru. At this point, Isman felt the need to urinate and became annoyed with what he felt to be an undue delay caused by the driver.

He began verbally abusing the driver from his seat, demanding that the driver explain the delay and drive faster. The driver did not respond and continued driving.

A while later, Isman repeatedly pressed the button to alight and did so from the rear door. Meanwhile, another commuter asked the driver for directions.

After alighting, Isman walked to the front door of the bus and shouted at the driver. He then boarded the bus from its front door and shoved the driver’s face with his right hand. Isman’s mask was again pulled down to his chin at this moment. Isman then left the bus through its front door. The assault was captured on CCTV cameras.

The driver did not retaliate and immediately closed the doors after Isman exited. He later sought medical attention at a polyclinic and was diagnosed with a minor bruise.

Isman has a string of violence-related offences dating to 1974, including disorderly behaviour in 1992, 1996 and abusive behaviour to a public servant in 2005.

In mitigation, he told the court that he regretted his “mistake” and promised not to do it again. He added that he was a father of three.

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