SINGAPORE: It seemed like every other Sunday when Loo King Keong, 59, and his daughter Alethea Luo Jiayi, 24, were on their way to church.
But on Jun 23, as they were walking down the stairs of an overhead bridge near 154 West Coast Road, they noticed a man “behaving peculiarly” behind a woman on an adjacent escalator that was going upwards.
The suspect was trying to take an upskirt photo and the father-and-daughter duo swiftly intervened to nab him.
For their efforts, Mr Loo and Ms Luo received the Singapore Police Force’s Public Spiritedness Award on Friday (Aug 23).
At the awards presentation, Mr Loo recalled the events which led to the upskirt photo suspect’s apprehension. (Ms Luo could not attend the ceremony; she was instead represented by her brother Augustine Luo.)
“(The suspect) was in a very awkward position, holding his mobile phone at a very low angle,” said Mr Loo.
Immediately, Mr Loo shouted across to the man: “What are you doing!”
Stunned, the man withdrew his phone and walked quickly up the escalator as he tried to delete the photos.
Both Mr Loo and Ms Luo turned around and ran up the stairs to stop the man, who appeared to be in his 40s.
“My daughter kind of took over of course, she ran faster than me. For me, I just kind of bounced after her,” said Mr Loo.
When they confronted the man, Ms Luo demanded the man turn over his phone.
“He bravely surrendered the phone and said there was nothing,” said Mr Loo.
But Ms Luo managed to recover the photos from the “recently deleted” folder.
By that time, a group of passers-by turned up and helped keep the man at bay while the police came.
Realising that he had no way out, the suspect started to plead for forgiveness.
“He said, ‘Please forgive me, I have a wife and daughter at home’,” said Mr Loo.
This angered some of the ladies at the scene, who reprimanded the suspect. “All the more you shouldn’t be doing this! Imagine if this happened to your family.”
The victim, a lady in her 30s, was “shaking” and “burst out crying” after the ordeal, said Mr Loo.
The police arrived at the scene within 10 to 15 minutes and the man was detained.
MAN STOPS SENIOR CITIZEN FROM COMMITTING SUICIDE
In a separate case, Mohamed Juhairi Juma’at was also commended for stopping an elderly man from committing suicide at Blk 58 Lengkok Bahru.
On May 23 at 5.30pm, Mr Juhairi was coming home from work when he saw a man, who appeared to be in his 80s, standing on a stool near the parapet outside his unit on the fifth floor.
He did not think much of it and went on to unlock his door, but when he turned around, the elderly man already had one leg over the parapet.
Mr Juhairi reacted swiftly and managed to bring the man to safety.
“I think if I didn’t manage to pull him down within three or five seconds, he would have already jumped down,” said Mr Juhairi.
Mr Juhairi stayed with the man until the police arrived.
“Singapore is one of the safest places in the world, and the community plays a big part in making this possible,” said Assistant Commissioner of Police Jarrod Pereira, Commander of Clementi Police Division.
“These individuals have acted courageously, and their actions have resulted in a safer community for all.”