SINGAPORE: A Foodpanda deliveryman was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in jail and six strokes of the cane for slashing a colleague, Mr Batman Suparman — the man who became an Internet sensation in 2008 for his eye-catching name.
Eng Guan Hong, 40, knew Batman, 29, as they performed food deliveries in the same area and were members of a WhatsApp chat group with a number of other Foodpanda deliverymen.
Batman first gained fame for his superhero-like name in 2008 when someone leaked his identification card online.
He made the news again in 2013 when he was jailed for two years and nine months for stealing his elder brother’s bank card, breaking into an office to steal money and consuming heroin.
In the latest plot twist, he became the victim of a crime himself in January this year after a tiff with Eng.
The spat began on the morning of Jan 28 this year, after Eng left a voice message in the group chat saying that Foodpanda had a new scheme for riders, and that those who did not sign up for the scheme would be “bodoh” — Malay for “stupid”.
Batman took offence with the use of the term and told Eng not to say that.
The two started arguing until Eng challenged Batman to meet to settle their differences.
At about 2.40pm that same day, as they were about to meet outside the Foodpanda office at United House in Somerset, Eng armed himself with a motorcycle helmet and a penknife that was concealed in the back pocket of his pants.
Eng had taken the penknife from his manager’s table at the Foodpanda office, lying to the manager that he needed one with a 10.5cm-long blade to adjust his e-scooter.
Once the two had caught sight of each other, Eng, without saying a word, started swinging the helmet at Batman repeatedly.
Batman tried to use his left arm to block the blows, but was still struck.
The penknife fell out of Eng’s pocket during the assault, but Eng picked it up and charged towards Batman, who tripped and fell as he backed off.
Eng then used the penknife to slash at Batman’s face repeatedly. Batman used his arms to ward off the blows, but was still cut near his nose and above his ear.
Throughout the attack, other Foodpanda riders tried to restrain Eng, but to no avail.
Eng even continued to charge towards Batman after slashing him, throwing some punches at his face.
Eng only stopped after other colleagues from the Foodpanda office arrived at the scene to pull him away.
A hurt Batman and some Foodpanda deliverymen then walked to a nearby police station to lodge a report.
At the hospital, Batman was treated for a 1cm wound across his nose bridge and a 3cm cut on the side of his face, among other injuries.
Before Eng was sentenced today, his lawyer T M Sinnadurai said his client had initiated the attack because Batman was being “annoying”.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Dillon Kok, however, argued that Eng had not been provoked, and noted that Batman might be “permanently scarred” from the attack.
When sentencing Eng on one proceeded charge of voluntarily causing hurt, District Judge Edgar Foo imposed a harsher sentence considering his multiple antecedents, which include a similar offence of voluntarily causing hurt in 2004.
He was jailed for two years and given six strokes of the cane then.
Eng began his sentence today.
For this latest charge of voluntarily causing hurt using a weapon, Eng could have been jailed for up to seven years, fined and caned.