Man who went on knife rampage pleads guilty

A RECALCITRANT offender consumed diazepam – used to treat anxiety disorders – and cough syrup without prescription before he went on a rampage in Clementi wielding a knife in February.

Soo Cheow Wee, who slashed a man with the knife, then took a taxi to Clementi Police Divisional Headquarters, where he was shot in the left arm after a stand-off with police officers.

Soo, 50, pleaded guilty yesterday to two counts of criminal intimidation. He also admitted to one count each of voluntarily causing hurt to a public servant and using the knife to assault a man.

Soo, who had been in and out of jail for drug abuse and various violence-related offences, went to Geylang on Feb 17, 2022, where he consumed cough syrup and diazepam.

He then went to his mother’s flat in Clementi where he called the police and said: “Someone wants to kill me and my mother. I don’t know how to explain.”

Soo left the unit with a knife and claimed that a voice had told him to randomly target passers-by to slash.

Wong Wei Jie, 41, was out a stroll at around 8.40pm when he spotted Soo behaving suspiciously.

Deputy Public Prosecutor R. Arvindren said: “When Wong was very close to the accused, the accused suddenly took out the knife and swung it towards Wong’s head. Wong used his hand to block the attack and the accused used the knife to slash Wong’s hand.”

Wong managed to get away by running towards a nearby supermarket.

Soo later flagged down a taxi and told the driver, Goh Wui Teck, 61, that he wanted to go to Clementi Police Division.

They were nearing the police headquarters when Soo opened the door and tried to alight while the taxi was still moving.

Goh stopped the vehicle and Soo fell onto the road. When Goh alighted to check on Soo, he charged at him brandishing the knife. The taxi driver managed to run away and Soo then approached the entrance of Clementi Police Division, shouting incoherently.

He suddenly charged at one officer, who then fired his service revolver at Soo.

Deputy Principal District Judge Luke Tan said that Soo had a problem but did not seem to want to treat it.

He also said: “Random people were going about, he had a knife, he chased after a few. Thankfully, those people were able-bodied and could run.” — The Straits Times/ANN

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