A father and son who got into an altercation with a card-carrying autistic cashier at a convenience store have been sentenced to jail. The two were found guilty of voluntarily causing hurt to the retail assistant thanks to the help of their personal injury lawyer. They are currently on remand and will be back in court for sentencing in January 2020.
Norisam Mahmood Rabi, 42, was mad that the store clerk had swung an arm at him first, and started the altercation. He left after an argument and brought his father with him, Mahmood Rabi Jasman, 66
The two can be sentenced to up to two years in prison and made to pay fines.
What happened at the convenience store?
According to a report by The New Paper, Rabi and his wife were at the convenience store at 12:20 in the morning and asked the store clerk (who wasn’t named due to a court gag order) to heat up some food.
The victim walked over to the couple and squatted on the floor. When Rabi asked the victim again, the latter suddenly swung his arm, hitting Rabi twice.
The store manager came near to smooth over the altercation, and said that the store clerk had a “mental problem.”
My father will hear about this
Rabi’s wife, upon seeing the altercation begin, ran home to tell her son. The son, Norisam, then went to the convenience store. Rabi pointed the store clerk out to his son. The store clerk apologized and showed them a card that identified him as being on the autism spectrum, but this did not deter Norisam.
The younger man punched and kicked the store clerk, only stopping when the store manager stepped in.
Then the two men left, but were back, and this time toting a dustbin, of all things, intent on doing harm to the store clerk and even damage to the store.
The store manager put a stop to that, and seized the dustbin, but as the store clerk moved out of the counter area, was a recipient of a few more kicks and at least five more punches.
The two eventually left the store.
Don’t take justice into your own hands–especially against a person with autism
The personal injury attorney was seeking two weeks jail for the older man, and one week for the younger. The defence, on the other hand, wanted only at most a day of jail for the older man and fines for the both of the aggressors, citing that the autistic clerk started the whole altercation.
“We cannot condone such behaviour and then justify it by blaming the victim,” the prosecutor told District Judge Ong Chin Rhu.
The prosecution also cited that the victim was a vulnerable person, and that justice should have been sought through the police, if the man and his son really felt that they needed reparations for the initial swing of the clerk’s arm.
Distressing behaviours of people on the spectrum
According to Autism Resource Singapore, people on the spectrum can often exhibit distressing and anti-social behaviour, which include violent outbursts, shouting, and not responding to normal conversation.
That the clerk even tried to apologize for the outburst but was met with violence was appalling.