SINGAPORE: An 18-year-old polytechnic student grew bored and wanted to see how his friends would react if he spat over the fourth-storey railing at Bugis Junction mall to the lower floors.
Only three weeks before, on Feb 7, the government raised Singapore’s outbreak alert response level to Orange in light of the worsening Covid-19 crisis.
Cai Jiaxu went on to spit over the railing. Two of his friends posted a video of it on their Instagram accounts and deleted them sometime later, but the video had already gone viral online.
On Wednesday, Cai pleaded guilty to one charge of public nuisance.
District Judge Seah Chi-Ling called for a report to assess if he is suitable for probation, a rehabilitative sentence usually offered to young offenders under 21.
He will be sentenced on Aug 26.
The court heard that on Feb 28, Cai and two of his friends – Gerald Chan Weiheng, 17, and Jolin Huang Rui Xian, 19 – were at Bugis Junction.
Apart from telling Gerald about his plan to spit over the railing, Cai also asked Gerald to hit his head so as to make the act of spitting look accidental.
Huang overheard them and took out her mobile phone to film the act, egging Gerald to hit Cai’s head.
Gerald did so and Cai spat over the railing towards six or seven diners at a Subway sandwich store on Basement One of the mall. The trio then left.
Later that evening, Huang posted the video in their text-messaging chat group. Huang and Gerald also posted it on their Instagram accounts.
In the video, Gerald is seen standing next to Cai and looking over the railing before hitting Cai’s head. Cai spits over the railing as the video pans downwards to the diners.
They deleted it at around 10.30pm that day, but the video was already circulating online. It had been reposted to the public Instagram account “xiaoypofsingapore”, attracting comments from the public on the public health risks of the act.
As of Wednesday, the post had chalked up more than 13,800 views.
On March 3, a representative of Bugis Junction made a police report. The mall did not receive complaints of spittle landing on diners.