61-Year-Old Slingshot Hobbyist Pleads Guilty To Breaking Glass Windows In Hougang
Sometimes, people get caught up in what they’re doing and fail to notice the possible dangers they pose to others.
This was what happened to Chan Fan Kheow, 61, as he was practising his hobby of shooting slingshots.
Chan was practising shooting metal ball bearings at plastic bottles in a multi-storey carpark in Hougang. However, he missed, and metal balls flew into two glass windows at a nearby HDB block.
The affected residents lodged a police report, and Chan is scheduled to be sentenced on 13 Apr.
Slingshot sent glass shards flying into Hougang HDB flat
According to The Straits Times (ST), Chan was having slingshot target practice on the rooftop of a carpark at Block 933 Hougang Avenue 9 on 25 Dec 2019.
He missed the plastic bottle he was aiming for, and one metal ball flew into the glass window of a unit at Block 923.
The projectile flew with such force that it cracked and punctured a small hall in the window. The unit’s resident lodged a police report after finding a glass shard in the living room.
This happened again on 12 Jan 2020 to another unit in the same block. The affected resident also lodged a police report that day.
On 13 Jan 2020, officers investigated the area and found nine metal ball bearings. They identified Chan as the offender after police camera footage showed him taking a slingshot out of his pocket as he waited for a lift.
He ordered slingshot & metal ball bearings from Taobao
TODAY reports that Chan’s interest in slingshots was sparked after seeing listings of the product online. He went on to buy seven slingshots and several packs of metal balls and pallets from Taobao.
He even enrolled in coaching sessions after watching a slingshot competition during a business trip to Guangzhou, China.
At first, Chan practised shooting slingshots in his own home using makeshift target boards. He eventually shifted to the carpark rooftop.
Police camera footage led to his arrest
According to TODAY, Chan pleaded guilty on Tuesday (5 Apr) to one count of committing a rash act that endangered the personal safety of others.
Another charge of carrying an offensive weapon in public will also be considered during his sentencing on 13 Apr.
It is illegal to possess or import slingshots in Singapore.
For committing a rash act and endangering the personal safety of others, Chan faces up to a year’s jail or could be fined up to S$5,000, or both.
He has made full restitution of S$310 to the victims for the repair of their windows.
Safety should be the number one priority
While there is nothing wrong with spending time on hobbies, it is always important to ensure that it does not go against the law.
After all, if the government has banned something, there must be a valid reason.
Luckily, no one was injured this time. However, Chan’s neighbours should never have been put in the way of such danger, to begin with.
We urge everyone to exercise personal responsibility and awareness so that such incidents do not occur again.
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