SINGAPORE: A Maserati driver who was stopped by a traffic police officer stood trial on Thursday (Oct 3), accused of driving off while the officer was next to his car, dragging him along with the vehicle for about 124m.
Lee Cheng Yan, 35, is contesting 10 charges, including voluntarily causing grievous hurt to a public servant.
In their opening address on Thursday, the prosecution said that Lee had failed to stop or help the officer, who suffered injuries that continue to affect him to this day.
Lee drove rashly against traffic during the escape, beat two red lights, abandoned the Maserati and discarded the shirt he was wearing to evade police, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Timotheus Koh.
The incident happened on Nov 17, 2017.
The accused had been banned from driving at the time, the court heard, and had picked up a laptop from a man at Bedok Reservoir Road when the officer spotted him driving without his seat belt on.
When the officer, who was in full traffic police uniform and on a patrol motorcycle, signalled to Lee to stop, he allegedly refused to do so.
Video footage of the incident captures the officer parking his motorcycle in front of the Maserati at the junction of Bedok Reservoir Road and Jalan Damai, where Lee had stopped his vehicle due to traffic conditions.
When the officer instructed Lee to pull over to the side of the road, Lee purportedly reversed his Maserati suddenly and accelerated quickly while the officer was next to his driver-seat door.
The officer's uniform was caught at the door and he was dragged with the moving vehicle. Lee drove 124m with the officer hanging onto the door, at a speed of 79kmh to 84kmh, alleged the prosecution.
The officer was eventually shaken off the car and was given more than 20 days' medical leave for injuries to his knee, neck and back.
He was medically downgraded by the Home Team Medical Board because of his injuries, which "continue to negatively affect the range of duties he is able to carry out as a traffic police officer", said the prosecutor.
After the incident, Lee allegedly fled, with an eyewitness pursuing him on a motorcycle and his pillion rider recording the chase.
He beat two red lights, overtook vehicles without signalling and drove against traffic, allege the prosecution, adding that he abandoned the Maserati along a road and threw his shirt down a rubbish chute.
The prosecution intends to lead evidence from 12 witnesses during the trial, including various eyewitnesses and the victim.
Lee, who is defended by lawyers Choo Si Sen, S Balamurugan and Choo Yean Lin, disputes that he was the driver of the Maserati.
The trial continues in the afternoon, with the victim expected to take the stand.