Cyclist Admits Harassing Driver near i12 Katong, Lawyer Cited Potential Influence of Brain Tumour on Behaviour

In a recent courtroom development, Nicolette Tan Shi-en, the cyclist involved in the highly publicised Katong road rage incident, has pleaded guilty to one count of intentionally harassing a driver near i12 Katong in June 2023. 

The incident, captured in a viral video, garnered widespread attention for its dramatic portrayal of Tan jumping onto the car hood of 49-year-old Elaine Michele Ow’s vehicle.

Screengrab of Nicolette Tan jumping onto the car hood of 49-year-old Elaine Michele Ow’s vehicle

Allegations of Behaviour Influenced by Health Condition

Tan seen on April 17, 2024 (Image from STOMP)


Tan’s legal team made headlines by suggesting that her behaviour during the altercation may have been influenced by a brain tumour.

According to reports, Tan’s defence emphasised that the onset of the tumour shortly after the incident could have impacted her actions, including jumping onto Ow’s car hood.

This revelation adds a new layer of complexity to the case, prompting discussions on the intersection of mental health and road behaviour.

A Brief Sequence of Events 

Screengrab of the altercation on June 2, 2023 (Image from BehChiaLor / Facebook)


The altercation unfolded on June 2, 2023, as Ow was driving near i12 Katong. 

Tan allegedly felt that Ow was driving too close to her bicycle, leading to a confrontation at a junction. 

Despite Ow’s apologies and explanations, Tan reportedly escalated the situation by blocking Ow’s path with her body and questioning her driving. 

The confrontation culminated in Tan jumping onto the hood of Ow’s car as Ow accelerated past a junction, eventually causing Tan to slide off the front of the vehicle.

Legal Proceedings and Sentencing Considerations

Following the incident, both Tan and Ow faced legal repercussions. 

While Ow was charged with committing a rash act by driving her car forward while Tan was on the hood, Tan’s charge was later amended to intentionally harassing Ow and obstructing traffic.

Deputy Public Prosecutors have requested a short detention order for Tan, aimed at providing her with an experience of prison life without leaving her with a criminal record. 

However, Tan’s defence is advocating for a fine of S$2,000, citing her medical conditions, including major depressive disorder and the recently diagnosed brain tumour.

Continued Examination of Health Condition

As the case progresses, the court has adjourned until May 24 to allow Tan’s defence time to further explore the potential influence of her brain tumour on her behaviour at the time of the altercation. 

Expert opinions will play a crucial role in determining the extent to which Tan’s health condition may have contributed to the events that transpired.

Navigating the Intersection of Mental Health and Road Behavior

The latest developments in the Katong road rage incident underscore the complexity of the case and its broader implications for understanding mental health’s impact on road behaviour. 

As legal proceedings continue, stakeholders are closely examining the intersection of health, behaviour, and accountability in navigating conflicts on the road.

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Together, we can all contribute to creating safer roads for everyone. 


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