Man jailed for joining 2 friends to attack stranger near Clarke Quay
Three men who forged their friendship while serving sentences at the reformative training centre (RTC) attacked a stranger in Clarke Quay after one of them thought the man was staring at him.
One of the attackers used a glass bottle to attack the 30-year-old victim while the other two punched and kicked him.
The first of the trio, Dani Zulastri Mohamad Salim, was sentenced to eight months and three weeks’ jail on Tuesday after he pleaded guilty to voluntarily causing hurt and another charge of mischief for tampering with an electronic monitoring tag while released on a supervision scheme from the RTC.
He was also ordered to pay the assault victim, Mr Justin Chua Yong Jie, $269.65 in compensation.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Kathy Chu said Dani Zulastri met his two friends from the RTC – Taitus Wong Wei Zhi and Mohamad Amirul Shafi Abdullah – at The Mask Restaurant and Bar in Circular Road to drink alcohol on March 20, 2022, at around 7pm. A fourth man, Mr Noor Shah Ryzqa Azman, was with them.
They ordered a bottle of whisky to share and left the bar at about 10.30pm, as Wong carried the bottle of whisky and drank from it while they walked around.
The four men, who were intoxicated, ended up near Riverside Point in Merchant Road and wanted to buy cigarettes. They approached a security officer who pointed them to a 7-Eleven store in Keng Cheow Street.
Mr Chua, who was drinking at a bar nearby with his friends, was also walking to the 7-Eleven alone when Amirul felt Mr Chua was staring at him.
Amirul and Wong attacked Mr Chua from behind, with Wong using the whisky bottle to hit his head a few times, causing a patch of his hair to fall off.
They also punched Mr Chua who had fallen to the ground. Dani Zulastri, who heard the commotion, ran towards them to punch and kick Mr Chua with Amirul.
The three men and Mr Ryzqa, who was watching the attack from a distance, then fled towards the State Courts near Havelock Road.
Mr Chua, whose head was bleeding, walked back to the bar to seek help and one of his friends called for paramedics.
He was taken to the emergency department at Singapore General Hospital and found to have cuts on his scalp. He was diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome with giddiness and memory loss, and was given medical leave for 17 days.
Said DPP Chu: “After the assault, the victim suffered giddiness and headaches, especially when bending down, until around May 2022. He would occasionally still suffer from giddiness and headaches, had bad memory, and was fearful of going out at night.”
In an interview with The Straits Times a few days after the attack, Mr Chua, a financial adviser, said he had no clue who was behind the attack.
His girlfriend said he was celebrating a friend’s birthday with four others at a restaurant near Clarke Quay, and was going to a convenience store to buy a drink when the assault occurred.
In her sentencing submissions, DPP Chu, who sought a sentence of between six months and eight months’ jail for Dani Zulastri, cited his violence-related antecedents as an aggravating factor.
In January 2021, he was convicted of being armed with a dangerous weapon without lawful purpose, joining in an unlawful assembly while armed with a deadly weapon on two occasions, and one count of carrying a scheduled weapon.
Wong, 20, is expected to plead guilty on Wednesday while the case against Amirul, 23, is still pending. Mr Ryzqa was given a discharge not amounting to an acquittal in August 2022.