Agitated woman locks herself in flat, keeps police out for 3 hours
Neighbours claim she had frequently been causing trouble.
For the past two years, she had been leaving leftover food and litter at the doorsteps of her fourth-storey neighbours at Block 370 in Hougang Street 31.
Yesterday, she became even more agitated. Police had to be called in and it led to a stand-off after she locked herself in her flat and refused to come out.
The stand-off lasted about three hours before Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) rescuers were forced to cut through the metal main gate and break through the door.
A neighbour, who only wanted to be known as Mr Koh, 58, said: "She destroyed our prayer joss-stick holder last year, but we didn't think it was serious enough to be reported."
But yesterday, at around 5pm, Mr Koh heard a loud crash and he ran to the door to find that his neighbour had wrecked his prayer joss-stick holder again.
SNAPPED IN TWO
The taxi driver said that this time, she used a long wooden stick which snapped into two from the force she used to destroy the holder.
Fearing for his family's safety, he locked all his windows and the door before calling the police.
When the police arrived about 10 minutes later, the woman ran into her flat, locked the door and refused the police's requests to come out.
After a while, Mr Koh said neighbours had told him she emerged at her gate and threatened the police officers.
He said: "They told me she was threatening them and I did hear screams, but I did not dare open the door to see what was happening."
Police officers called for reinforcements before breaking into the house to get to the woman, who is believed to be in her 40s.
She was arrested under the Mental Health Act.
Throughout the incident, Mr Koh stayed in his bedroom with his wife, daughter and 18-month-old grandchild.
The SCDF received a call at about 7pm, and they sent an ambulance, a fire engine, a red rhino and two support vehicles. They also set up a life pack at the foot of the block in case the woman jumped.
Mr Koh said the woman used to live with two of her family members, who have since moved out. They are said to be her mother and elder brother.
She had lived in the unit next to Mr Koh's for the past seven years, he said, and she seemed fine until the last two years.
Mr Koh and his family are still fearful. "I don't want to leave the house, especially at night," he said. "I worry for my grandchild. We want to make sure she comes to no harm."
"I don't want to leave the house, especially at night. I worry for my grandchild. We want to make sure she comes to no harm."
- A neighbour who wanted to be known only as Mr Koh
"She destroyed our prayer joss stick holder last year, but we didn't think it was serious enough to be reported."
- Mr Koh