51 year-old Ah Teo picked up an Indian couple at Orchard Towers on 28 April this year at about 7.15AM. They asked to be dropped at separate locations, the male passenger at City Square Mall and the lady at Pasir Ris.
Ah Teo recalled that the couple reeked of alcohol.
Helping the man to put his e-scooter in the boot of his car, he went to the first destination at City Square Mall.
But upon reaching his destination, the male passenger turned abusive when Ah Teo did not want to stop by the roadside of the mall because of safety concerns. Ah Teo says that the area was in a corner and had a blindspot, so stopping there could have led to an accident. Ah Teo turned into the mall’s drop-off point instead, with the male passenger spewing vulgarities at him the whole time even after the car stopped.
“He was scolding me with vulgarities. I retrieved his e-scooter from the boot for him but he was getting more aggressive. I was afraid that he would use the e-scooter to hit me, so I took out my hammer from the boot too.”
Eventually, the female passenger got down from the car and stopped the argument. After the man left, Ah Teo carried on his trip and sent the lady to Pasir Ris.
Then for no apparent reason, the female passenger asked to alight midway through the trip and ran off without paying.
At a loss of what to do, Ah Teo called Grabcar, only to find out that a complaint had been lodged against him and that the company would be terminating his service. He was not given any recourse or opportunity to explain his position.
After the incident, Ah Teo went two months without a job. He now drives for Uber and does ad hoc handyman jobs.
Previously, Ah Teo was jailed for about 4 years for forging passports. His wife left him and his children now live with her. However, he still has to pay her $1500 a month in alimony.
Ah Teo says he lodged a police report after the incident, and tried his best to keep calm despite the abuse he received.
“I didn’t hit the man. I controlled my temper. If I wanted to, I could have hammered him, but I controlled because I wanted to turn over a new leaf for my kids.”