SINGAPORE: A woman who filmed herself arguing with police officers in two viral videos was charged on Friday (Oct 13) with multiple offences, including alleged use of abusive language on a public servant and harassment.
Han Feizi, 29, appeared in court via video-link as she is on remand.
Addressing the court, the China national said that she intends to plead guilty and apologised for her actions.
The charges brought against Han are as follows:
One count of being a public nuisance, punishable with a fine that may extend to S$2,000Two counts of using abusive language against a public service worker or public servant, punishable with a jail term of up to 12 months or a fine of up to S$5,000, or bothTwo counts of assaulting or using criminal force on a security officer, punishable with a jail term of up to two years or a fine of up to S$7,500, or bothIntentionally causing harassment, which is punishable with up to 12 months’ imprisonment or a fine of up to S$5,000, or both
The prosecution said it intends to proceed on four charges. The other two charges, one for using abusive words towards a police officer and one for using criminal force against a security officer, will be taken into consideration during sentencing.
Han said she does not intend to engage a lawyer.
She also asked if she could be given “the lightest possible sentence” if she pleaded guilty as soon as possible.
In response, District Judge Lorraine Ho said that an indication of a plea at the earliest stage might mean a discounted sentence.
Judge Ho also granted Han two phone calls so she can seek out a bailor. Han’s bail was set at S$15,000.
POSTED CLIPS ON SOCIAL MEDIA
In a statement late on Thursday night, the police said that at about 2.35am on Tuesday, they received a call for help regarding a verbally abusive patient at Singapore General Hospital (SGH).
Han, who was at SGH’s accident and emergency department to seek medical treatment for her injured foot, was allegedly shouting and caused annoyance to the public.
She was also said to have verbally abused a nurse before police officers arrived.
Han posted the clips of her interactions with the officers on Chinese social media platform Douyin on Tuesday. The videos lasting more than 11 minutes in total have since been shared widely on various online channels.
In one clip, she claims that she was refused treatment at the hospital because she is not a Singapore citizen.
She also claimed that she had waited for three hours at the emergency department without being seen by a doctor after she was hit by a car and suffered a leg injury.
However, this was disputed by the hospital on Thursday, with its head of emergency medicine Kenneth Tan telling national daily The Straits Times that the woman was discharged “after being thoroughly reviewed by our clinical team”.
She was discharged two hours after her arrival at the emergency department.
He said that the woman had become hostile “and abusive” to hospital staff members when reminded to put on a face mask, as required by the Ministry of Health. She refused to do so.
He also said that despite efforts by both medical and security personnel, the woman continued to behave aggressively, resulting in the police being called to the scene.
Two investigation officers arrived at SGH at 3.15am on Tuesday to interview the woman.
They introduced themselves as investigation officers from the Central Police Division and engaged the woman in the presence of uniformed police officers.
During the engagement, Han was uncooperative and refused to provide her statement. She was said to have used vulgar language against one of the investigation officers.
Han then started recording segments of her interaction with the investigation officers, the police said.
“While recording, she attempted to take one of the investigation officers’ security pass. The investigation officer firmly told her not to touch her pass,” they added.
As Han was awaiting medical treatment, the officers decided to allow her to complete her treatment first and followed up with her later.
TODAY has reached out to SGH for comment.
NOT THE FIRST TIME
The police said that this was not the only time they had responded to a case involving the woman.
Earlier on Oct 3, they received a call for help from the security team of a condominium located along Marina Boulevard.
“The woman was allegedly intoxicated, and the security team assisted in escorting her up to her unit. The woman then allegedly pushed one of the security officers on his shoulder and pulled his tie. She also purportedly used insulting and abusive words towards the security officer,” the police said.
Although Han was compliant upon the police’s arrival, they still investigated her for the alleged offences committed against the security officer.
In the course of the investigation, the police found reason to suspect that the woman may have contravened the conditions of her work permit.
They will refer the matter to the Ministry of Manpower.
The police said that they take a stern view of abusive behaviour against public servants and public service workers who are carrying out their public duties. “Firm actions will be taken to deal with such offenders in accordance with the law.”
Han will be back in court on Oct 25 to plead guilty.
“DISTURBED” BY INCIDENT
In a Facebook post on Friday, Minister for Health Ong Ye Kung said he was “disturbed” by the incident.
Mr Ong reiterated the Ministry of Health’s zero-tolerance policy against the abuse and harassment of healthcare workers, adding that Han’s alleged behaviour and actions are “exactly what we need to protect healthcare workers against”.
He also thanked the police officers at the scene for being “firm and calm, and being there when our healthcare workers needed them”.
“Healthcare workers deserve to be treated with respect. This must be a consistent stand by all of us,” he added.
This article was originally published in TODAY.