Much ado about loose change: Woman taken to hospital after clash with Chinatown hawker over $2 in coins

A woman was taken to hospital after squabbling with a drinks stall owner in Chinatown.

And the cause of this heated dispute? The $2 change that was returned to the customer in coins.

The incident happened last Saturday at around 1.10pm at People’s Park Centre, Shin Min Daily News reported.

In an interview with the Chinese evening daily, an eyewitness, who only wanted to be known as Chua, shared that the middle-aged woman, who was with two children, had paid $10 for drinks at the stall.

“The stall owner returned her $2 in change, but they were all in 10 cents and 20 cents,” the 76-year-old Chua said, adding that “it was clear” that the former had $2 notes.

When the woman raised her unhappiness about the loose change, the female owner became louder and more aggressive, according to Chua.

“After that, I saw a scratch mark on the mother’s neck. There was a plastic cup on the ground, I believe someone threw it at her,” he said.

A male drinks stall owner was also seen slamming a kitchen knife on the countertop to scare the mother, Shin Min Daily News reported.

Describing how he was also frightened when the stall owner raised his knife, Chua said: “When the woman’s daughter saw what was happening, she started crying hysterically.”

Another eyewitness, a stall owner nearby at People’s Park Centre, shared that the drinks stall owners would argue with their customers regularly.

“Both of them are hot-headed. They would shout at customers when they are unhappy,” she said.

In a response to AsiaOne’s queries, the police said that a 37-year-old woman was conscious when being conveyed to hospital.

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A 23-year-old man is assisting in investigations, the police added.

In March this year, a patron at a Yishun coffee shop complained that her kopi-o was poured away after paying for it with coins including two five-cents.

But the coffee shop had denied that her $1.20 drink was discarded.


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