Motorist who grabbed and threw down bus driver’s phone charged with committing public nuisance
A motorist verbally abused a bus driver, snatched his phone and threw it onto the road, after being honked at for blocking the way.
On Saturday, Teo Kian Chin, 42, who was driving a black Mercedes-Benz sedan, was charged in court with committing a public nuisance.
Footage of the incident – which took place at a bus stop in Flora Drive on Oct 31 near midnight – has been shared on social media and shows Teo hurling vulgarities at the SBS Transit driver.
The driver had sounded his horn when he could not exit the bus bay because Teo’s car was in the way.
Teo is then shown shouting at the driver before driving a short distance away, only to return to the bus.
He presses the emergency button on the outside of the bus and enters when the door opens. He shouts and grabs the bus driver’s phone.
A woman, believed to be Teo’s passenger, coaxes him to alight, and he flings the phone onto the road.
Responding to queries from The Straits Times, Mrs Grace Wu, SBS Transit’s vice-president for customer experience and communications, said the company does not “tolerate acts of harassment, intimidation and verbal abuse against our bus captains”.
The phone was returned by the woman to the bus captain, said Mrs Wu, adding that he had been in contact with SBS Transit’s operations control centre throughout the incident.
“As a matter of policy, we will not tolerate any abuse against our staff and will fully back any staff who wishes to defend their rights beyond the criminal justice system and file for civil action," she said.
“This means helping victimised staff navigate the legal system, including appointing representation, as well as undertaking the costs.”
In a Facebook post on Sunday, Mr Melvin Yong, the National Trades Union Congress assistant secretary-general and the National Transport Workers’ Union (NTWU) executive secretary, described Teo’s actions as “thuggish and unreasonable”.
Citing the Highway Code, which states that vehicles are not allowed to be parked at a bus stop, Mr Yong said: “The NTWU does not tolerate any abuse of our public transport workers when they are carrying out their duties.”
If convicted of committing a public nuisance, Teo can be fined up to $2,000.