Thursday, October 04, 2007

Hard Water

Yes, water can be hard….

Tuesday evening, on the 2nd October, I got one favour on hand to complete – deliver my friend’s Quilt / Pillow / Bolster set to her place. And since I was doing so, might as well sent her home at the same time. And since my car still has another 2 seats, I picked up another 2 friends to send home along the way.

So Yi Hong alights, then to Fiona’s place. She stays at street 43 in Tampines, those newer housing board designs where the carpark is like a labyrinth type. Turn and turn and turn and I finally slowed to a stop near the central refuse chute behind her block, that’s where the lifts are, and were everyone stops for alighting passengers. And right at this time, I spotted something dropped down, 2 meters ahead of my car.

“Water-bomb prank” I presumed…

After Fiona alight, I reversed my car back by 2 car length. “Safer spot” I presumed. And true enough, what came down earlier is a bag of water. One big patch of water on the floor.

I waited as Fiona went upstairs to retrieve an empty luggage to return to Siang Yee. As Fiona came down again, I alighted from my car and opened the passenger door behind, took the luggage from Fiona’s hands and placed in nicely into my car. And as I was about to close the door… “WHAM!” and a splash of water blinded me momentarily.

As I regained my sight and composure, I came to realized it was another water bomb, and it hit my car this time round. And what a big dent it did! Shocked, I looked up and saw a guy, all the way at the top most level, pointing towards a direction and shouting: “There! There! Over there!”.

Great! I got eye witness. By this time, a lot of people had gathered over. Its 6:30pm, people are returning home from everywhere, and most are at their kitchen having dinner. The loud bang alerted the attention of the neighbors and many peered out from their windows.

I dialed 999, and was greeted with the “all our operators are busy at the moment, please hold.” (Luckily it was not “… for English, press 1; 讲华语, 请按二…”).

Concerned neighbors came downstairs and checked me out. And they told me it was not the first case already. 2 Fridays back, another car had its windscreen shattered, and the culprit was not caught.

The eye witness upstairs shouted down: “10th floor! 10th floor!”

Fiona went upstairs and helped me checked it out. I stayed with my car and Siang Yee was nice to help me take photographs with her phone.

Fiona came down shortly, and told me they have zoomed in onto a particular unit – #10-360. I was delighted to hear that; that fellow is gonna get it.

After a 30 minutes wait and a second phone-call to 999 to rush them, the efficient police officers finally arrived in a long-time-never-had-a-car-wash Toyota. Alighted and I related my case to one of them, and the other take a couple of photos on my car and the surround areas.

The eye witness came downstairs, with his mum. Thanks to his mum, who dispatched the kid upstairs to keep a watch-out after the first bomb came down. The kid witnessed the culprit in action when the 2nd water bomb was thrown.

Well, the officers recorded our statements individually. It was an irritating wait, they were like writing composition on a paper, like students in an exam. My statement was 1 full page long; the officer squeezed in the last few words to avoid reaching a second page. I glanced over to the other officer – he was already at one-and-a-half page with the eye witness. Geez…

Then we proceeded upstairs. Knocked on the door. My friends and I was asked to wait one side as the officers carried out the questioning. The maid answered the door, then just so coincidentally, the big sister came home, appeared shocked to find police officers at her doorstep.
One big round of questioning ensued, the suspect was a little girl – primary school age, a bit ah-lian ah lian. I overheard their questioning and answers. Friend called… just known him… dunno name… no phone number… called from public phone… dunno which school… switched school… was sleeping… heard loud noise… came out to corridor to check out the noise…

The girl was subsequently invited out to the corridor and stood near the parapet. On the other hand, the other officer has gone to fetch the eye witness to the same spot where he saw the act took place. They reenacted the scene, and the eye witness confirmed the girl was the one he saw earlier.

More talks continued, and we told the police officers that we are going downstairs to wait. I treated both my friends to ice-cream. Good O uncle was ringing his bell again downstairs. $1 each ice cream. I had Yam flavour. It was 8:30pm already.

Finally, the officers are done and came downstairs to meet us. The officer told me the girl denied the act all through. And her big brother wishes to talk to me. The officers then told me that since the girl denies the act, they are no further action both officers can do on the spot.

They advice me that I got 2 options: to settle the case externally with the family on my own, or to file a magistrate complaint to the subordinate court. They provided me with a form and told me that should I pursue the latter course of action, I will have to go down to file the case myself, with a nominal fee of a couple of dollars. The officers then told me that they have passed the case over to the Tampines NPC and the I/O will take over the investigation and call me the next day. The little girl will be required to file a statement at the station the next day. The officers took their leave.

Off I head upstairs to the unit, to look for that big brother. One fat fellow in his twenties. I told him that I have 2 options: to settle the case aside with him, or I will file the case to court. The big brother replied that he will not settle aside with me and would choose to bring his sister to file her statements at the police station tomorrow.

I offered the option again, citing that to avoid all the hassle and time wasting, if he wishes to settle aside with me, and I will let the matter rest. He gave me a stuck-up attitude and say: “I was a police too” and insists on not wanting to settle the case aside with me.

Fine then. “I will see you court then” and I took my leave.

Shiok feeling. Never know I actually had the chance to say this line.

Sent Siang Yee home. I reached home and parked my car. Then shifted my seat back and push back up from the inside: “POP!” it went back up. I happily hopped out to check out the surface. Still a little dent there. In I went again to push up that spot. I knock and knock and knock. Went out to check again. But I can still see faint signs of dents. Heart ache. Grabbed my briefcase and head home.

I missed my dinner appointment and went home to eat instant noodles. No time for food, need to rush my report, which is due the next day. I went to bed early, mentally tired, and disturbed by the damage.

Wednesday, 03 October, today, I was typing my report halfway and I recalled the incident yesterday. That damn officer still hasn’t called me. Fine, I called up the police station and was told that the officer was due on night shift today.

I continued my report.

11: 00pm, I was done with my dinner, after submitting my report by 10pm. I called the station again, and the I/O hasn’t came in yet. Geez… the operator told me they can call me back by 12am and if I am willing to wait. I said fine.

Halfway typing this journal, 11: 45pm, my handphone rang. They called. Was told they have record the little girl’s statements at the station today. The girl said she was asleep at that point in time and the maid was witness to this (yea, of course she will shield the girl lah, I did not have the chance to warn her that if she makes a false statement, she will get into trouble too). The girl said it was a school friend of hers, looked similar to her and also wearing the same school uniform as her, who had shown up at her place looking for her and it was this friend who threw the water bomb (ya right, where did she get so much water and where did she get the plastic bags from?).

And so the police officer told me that they will conduct further checks and try to find out the identity of this “friend” of the little girl. In the meantime, asks me to wait a few more days. Nope, strike when the metal is hot. I will file the case to the subordinate courts by this Saturday.
I will see them in court.

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