Whatever his motivations, the man pleaded to one charge of voluntarily causing hurt by forcefully slapping the left side of the teenager’s face, causing him to suffer pain. The arresting authorities must have assumed physical pain, evidenced by the red swelling obvious in the widely circulated photo images. Psychological trauma, due to being shackled in cuffs and chains, matter not to these sadistic types. The legal issue worthy of note here is that voluntarily causing hurt is a non-arrestable offence in Singapore.
Upon arrival at the scene, the police is supposed to assess the situation and determine whether the fracas involving a crime is categorised as an arrestable offence under the First Schedule of the Criminal Procedure Code. Which explains why many taxi drivers at the receiving end of a drunken passenger's fist often wonder if being a punching bag is written into their job description.
The following are some examples of arrestable offences:
- Unlawful assemblies or rioting
- Impersonation of a public servant
- Obstructing a public servant in his duties, or threatening a public servant
- Affray (Fighting in public places)
- Fouling the water of a public spring or reservoir
- Driving rashly or negligently
- Obscene acts in public
- Theft and robbery
- Criminal trespass
- Assault or use of criminal force to a person with intent to outrage modesty (molest)
- Acts or attempts that cause or can cause death, including suicide, murder, or other rash acts
- Voluntarily causing grievous hurt
- Voluntarily causing hurt with a dangerous weapon