SINGAPORE: Stuck in a traffic jam and urgently needing a toilet, a limousine driver lost his temper when another motorist blocked his way at a yellow-box junction near Orchard Road.
Chad Tan Eng Hui, 27, alighted from his vehicle and kicked the front bumper of the victim’s car, shouting and gesturing aggressively, and punching the driver’s door.
Tan was fined S$4,500 by a court on Thursday (Jul 8). He pleaded guilty to one count of mischief, with a second charge of intentionally causing alarm taken into consideration.
The court heard that Tan was a freelance limousine driver at the time of the offence in May 2019.
At about 6.30pm on May 17, 2019, a Friday, Tan was near the Ion Orchard car park.
According to the defence, Tan had been working for 11 hours before this.
Tan urgently needed to relieve himself, said lawyer Ashwin Ganapathy, but had no time to look for a toilet as he was on a tight schedule with another job at Beach Road at 7pm.
Tan was trying to exit from Orchard Turn into Orchard Boulevard, while the victim, a 60-year-old man, was heading towards the Ion Orchard car park.
Both vehicles were caught in the slow-moving peak hour traffic. The defence said Tan had not been given any way to move out, with vehicles stopping inside the yellow box at the junction.
When the light turned green in Tan’s favour, he tried to move out, but was blocked by the victim who stopped in the yellow box, said Mr Ganapathy. 
Tan got angry because he thought the victim was being ungracious by refusing to give way to him when Tan had the right of way, the court heard.
Tan alighted from his car and kicked the front bumper of the victim’s car while shouting and gesturing aggressively.
He then hit the victim’s window, demanding that that latter wind down the window before confronting him about his driving.
Tan kicked and punched the driver’s door, then returned to his car. His actions left dents on the front bumper and door of the victim’s car, and chipped off some paint.
The victim obtained a repair quotation afterwards that came up to S$7,074.84. However, he decided to get only partial repairs amounting to S$550.
Tan repaid the victim a total of S$3,500, which the victim accepted as full and fair compensation for his loss.
Mr Ganapathy said his client admitted he was wrong and should not have acted that way. He had been worried about being late for his next pick-up as he was previously given a S$200 penalty for being two minutes late after a passenger complained.
“Also, the fact that our client needed to use the toilet urgently added to his frustration. This contributed to our client’s poor decision making,” said the defence counsel.
For committing an act of mischief, Tan could have been jailed up to two years, fined or both.

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