SINGAPORE — A former Cheers employee who posted video clips on TikTok of himself arguing with police officers earlier this year will be charged on Wednesday (Oct 18) with various harassment offences and failing to cooperate with police investigations.
In a statement on Tuesday (Oct 17) night, the police said that they were alerted to a dispute between a customer and a man who worked at a convenience store along Raffles Quay at about 8.10pm on Jan 1.
“Investigations revealed that the man had insulted the customer. Upon (the) police’s arrival, the man was uncooperative and reluctant to furnish his particulars,” the police said.
The 29-year-old man challenged the police officers who had asked to see his identity card and he also used his mobile phone to record his engagement with the police.
“After the incident, the man had allegedly uploaded six videos on social media, which purportedly identified the name of the police officer in the lawful discharge of his duties.
“Prior to uploading the videos, the man also allegedly included captions, which were abusive and demeaning to the police officers,” the police added.
The man, who identifies himself as Jonathan Tan and goes by the username “confederateginger” on TikTok, had made the news after the clips of his exchanges with the police at the Lau Pa Sat outlet of the convenience store went viral.
A few days later, NTUC FairPrice supermarket chain said that the man had been sacked. FairPrice, which owns the Cheers franchise, also apologised for the public concern caused by the incident.
The police’s statement on Tuesday did not mention Cheers but TODAY understands the man to be charged is a former employee with the store.
During their investigations into the case, the police had contacted the man to turn up at a police station.
However, he failed to do so for the interview, which led to the police issuing two written orders to compel his attendance for interviews on Jan 11 and 31.
The man did not show up on both dates despite the written orders.
He will be charged on Wednesday for the following alleged offences under the Protection from Harassment Act:
Using insulting words to cause harassmentUsing abusive words towards a public servantPublishing the identity information of a public servant to deter in the lawful discharge of his duties
Each of these charges carry a penalty of a jail term of up to 12 months or a fine of up to S$5,000, or both.
In addition, the man will be charged with two counts of failure to attend in obedience to an order from a public servant, which is punishable with a jail term of up to one month or a fine of up to S$1,500, or both.
The police warned that they take a stern view of abusive behaviour and disobedience to the lawful order from public servants who are carrying out their public duties.
“Firm actions will be taken to deal with such offenders in accordance with the law.”