Jail for man who barged into bus, snatched and threw driver’s phone after latter sounded horn
A motorist, who was blocking a bus bay with his car, flew into a rage and confronted an SBS Transit bus driver after the latter sounded his horn several times at him.
Teo Kian Chin, 43, a flight attendant, boarded bus service 4 that Mr Koo Jiann Rong, 35, was then driving. He snatched away Mr Koo’s mobile phone which the younger man was using to film him, before flinging it to the ground.
A passer-by recorded a video of the confrontation, and the clip became viral after it was shared on social media.
On Nov 21, Teo was sentenced to five days’ jail and fined $3,000 after he pleaded guilty to four charges, including one count each of harassment and criminal trespass.
He was also disqualified from holding or obtaining all classes of driving licences for a period of a month from his date of release.
Details about Teo’s employer at the time were not disclosed in court.
Teo was driving his car, a Mercedes Benz, from Simei to his Kovan home sometime after 11pm on Oct 31, 2022, with a female friend driving another car nearby, when roadworks blocked his usual route via Tampines Expressway.
Teo exited at Upper Changi Road North and ended up along Flora Road near Old Tampines Road.
He then stopped his car within the bay of a bus stop to figure out his way home.
Mr Koo was driving the bus along Flora Road soon after when he saw Teo’s car. As there was insufficient space for the bus to fully enter and stop within the bay, the bus driver sounded the horn and flashed the headlights at the car. Teo then moved the car slightly forward but remained within the bay.
Soon after, Mr Koo tried to move off, but could not do so as Teo’s car was still obstructing the bay. He then sounded the horn twice, but Teo did not budge.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Maximilian Chew said: “After the victim sounded the horn again several times, the accused alighted from the vehicle and approached the driver-side window of the bus.
“He then repeatedly knocked on the window and shouted loudly at the victim. However, the victim did not engage with the accused and instead immediately reported the incident to the bus operations control centre using (a) communication system.”
The commotion brought the traffic on the road to a temporary halt, as Teo’s friend stopped her car beside the bus along the one-lane carriageway to check on him.
Teo returned to his car and hurled vulgarities in Mr Koo’s direction. He then marched back to the bus and tried to enter it by pressing an external emergency door button.
Mr Koo used his mobile phone to record Teo’s antics but in a state of panic, accidentally pressed a button near his seat and opened the front entrance door of the bus.
Teo then barged into the bus before the bus driver could close the door again.
DPP Chew told the court: “The accused immediately wrested the victim’s mobile phone (away) and closed the camera application. As the victim feared that the accused might hit him, he raised his left arm close to his own head and face.”
Teo’s friend managed to board the bus and persuaded the flight attendant to leave. Instead of returning the phone to Mr Koo, he flung the device to the ground.
Teo’s friend returned the phone to Mr Koo before driving away with Teo.
Mr Koo alerted the police on Nov 1, 2022 and officers managed to trace Teo after viewing the passer-by’s video.