A video showing two boys raining blows and stamping on another has gone viral, leading to a police investigation as the online community decried the bullying.
The police confirmed on Friday (Nov 11) that the boys in the video have been identified and are under investigation. One of them was wearing a sleeveless T-shirt with the word “Saints”, and St Andrew’s Secondary School principal Lucy Toh said that some of the students involved in the incident that took place on Nov 5 are from the school.
Declining further comment, saying that the school is working with the police, she said: “We take all incidents of fighting seriously, and will continue to educate our students on anger management and appropriate behaviour.”
The police said that they take a stern view of “lawless and violent public behaviour which could threaten the sense of safety and security in the community”.
“Any person who resorts to violence and riotous behaviour will be dealt with severely, in accordance with the law,” their spokesperson said.
The video — put up by Mr Bhai Angullia, 37, on his Facebook account on Thursday — was shared more than 37,600 times in 24 hours, and many online users were upset by what they saw.
It showed a group of about six boys gathered at what appeared to be the stairwell of a public housing block, before two of them took turns to punch and kick the victim, who did not fight back. After the victim fell, one of the two boys leapt and stamped on him with both legs.
Mr Bhai, who first saw the video shared among a limited audience on Facebook, said that as a former victim of bullying himself, the video “struck him hard” and prompted him to download and re-share it within 15 minutes of seeing it. He believed it was taken by one of the boys involved in the incident.
The businessman and father-of-three tried to track the victim down on Facebook and offered to pay his hospital bills upon contacting the boy’s mother on Thursday. The mother told him the bill came to more than S$300, but declined his offer.
Mr Bhai told TODAY: “I kept picturing myself as (the victim). I was skinny like him too ... These things scar us for a really long time.”
Recounting his own experience with bullies more than 20 years ago when 10 to 15 boys “took shots” at him, he told TODAY: “I took Taekwondo when I was younger, so I guess, I took the blows well... Nothing broken, just lacerations. But the humiliation was the worst part.”
No one was reprimanded in his case, as he didn’t dare tell anyone.
Years after the incident, he became a police officer for six years and saw some of the former bullies in prison or lock-up. “Most of them never turned their life around,” he said. “Bullying needs to be addressed."