Off-duty officer, Deputy Superintendent (DSP) Koh Koon Beng, was out with his family on Sunday evening, 20 July last year. Leaving the basement car park, they were alerted to loud screams for help.
Approaching quickly, DSP Koh found a woman in her thirties standing outside a white SUV, pulling desperately at the door handles. In tears, she told DSP Koh that her baby had been trapped inside for the past ten minutes. DSP Koh assured her that he would help.
Peering through the rear windows of the car, he saw a baby about 8-months-old, strapped to the booster seat. “He was screaming and crying and my only thought was to bring him out quickly”, recounted DSP Koh. Unable to open the locked car doors and the boot, DSP Koh realised that the only way in was by breaking the glass window.
DSP Koh explained to the mother what he intended to do. With her consent, he took a steering lock he had in his car and carefully broke the left rear quarter window farthest from the baby. Putting his hand through the broken glass, DSP Koh unlocked the door and carried the child out to safety and into the arms of his very relieved mother.
Touched by the help rendered, the mother wrote to DSP Koh to thank him for dealing with the situation so calmly. She also expressed her gratitude to his wife and children for staying with her throughout the ordeal. It turned out that a mechanical fault in the car caused the auto-lock to malfunction, inadvertently locking the baby in.
When asked how he felt about the incident, the Chief Investigation Officer of Tanglin Division said, “I don’t think much of what I have done as anyone would do the same. But as a police officer, we are on duty 24/7 and I am glad to have helped.”