Deadly strikes in uniform
Tourists were shocked when a volunteer soldier made a hasty visit to the pillar shrine in Kantharalak town, Si Sa Ket, on December 9 and committed suicide.
Prayong Sompong, 34, looked like any other devotee when he parked his red Ford outside, climbed the steps, entered the building and waited outside the shrine. However, visitors were taken aback when Prayong, dressed in his uniform, then released a .9mm and shot himself in the head.
Family members believe he came to the shrine to apologize for killing his wife moments before, as the battle over the fate of their relationship reached an unpleasant climax.
Police found two bodies that day: Prayong’s body, collapsed in a pile of blood inside the shrine building, and that of his wife, Chaowanee Aree, 36, in his car. He took his body with him for the ride.
Moments earlier, Prayong had shot her in front of the district office about 2.5 km from where the two met to sign their divorce papers, a decision Prayong had reluctantly accepted in a meeting the day before. of family.
Chaowanee fled the couple’s Bangkok home on December 7, where she said Prayong had kept her as an imprisoned slave.
Prayong followed her the next day to Si Sa Ket, swearing to his younger sister that if he failed to persuade his wife to return with him to the capital, he would take her life.
However, in front of his family that evening, he reluctantly agreed to Chaowanee’s divorce petition, though his engagement quickly frayed.
They showed up in two vehicles at 9 a.m. the next day as arranged, Prayong accompanied by his younger brother and mother, and Chaowanee by his own mother.
The immediate provocation was a long line at the office before the couple could sign their papers.
The two began to argue, as captured by CCTV cameras, and Chaowanee returned to the parking lot. Moments later she was dead.
Two days earlier, when Chaowanee fled their home in Bangkok, she must have escaped through a window after Prayong locked her inside as he left for work. She went to Si Sa Ket to search for her parents’ shrine.
Prayong had previously forbidden him to visit his family. When he followed Chaowanee to his parents’ house, on his first visit, he tried to come to terms with her. However, his wife had none.
“I can’t live with his possessive and jealous side anymore. He treats me like a slave,” she told her parents, adding that he also liked to beat her.
The couple registered their marriage to Don Muang eight months ago but had yet to get married.
Before going to the district office that morning, Prayong gave his parents a bowl of flowers, a candle, an incense stick and 1,000 cash to apologize for the way he had treated their daughter.
“I didn’t think anything of the apologies as they were about to get a divorce,” said her mother, Thawil, recalling her visit.
As they made their way to the parking lot after getting tired of the wait to process the divorce, Ms Thawil spoke to her daughter.
“I told her to get in her car and we would drive home. However, Prayong grabbed her arm, pulled her out of the car and put her in his own vehicle so they could go back to. Bangkok.
“I protested, saying that I didn’t want his daughter to come with him. Prayong tapped on the window and asked her to open the door.
“She refused, so he shot her five to eight times. When the gunshots erupted, the rest of us ran for cover and asked the locals for help.”
Ms Thawil said the couple, from the district, had been together for about a year. While the couple did not have children, Chaowanee has two children from a previous marriage, aged 16 and 6.
Taengkwa, Prayong’s younger sister, said Prayong told him the day before that if he failed to persuade his wife to come back with him, he would kill her. “I told him not to do it, even though I didn’t think he would,” she said.
The guard at the city pillar shrine said that Prayong rushed over and did not speak to anyone before shooting himself. “I suspect he respected the shrine and wanted to apologize for his wrongdoing,” she said.
The police save the day
The swift work of the Phetkasem Police Force helped deter a taxi driver about to jump off the Rama III Bridge to retreat from the brink.
The taxi driver who threatened to jump.
Klong San police were called on December 12 after the driver, identified by media as “uncle,” a middle-aged man wearing a cap, parked his taxi and threatened to jump off the bridge. Officers and passers-by, joined by the man’s wife, managed to dissuade him.
Pol Station chief Col Torsak Panklinput said his uncle told them he had been the victim of an online loan scam and, fearing he would not get his money back, decided to take his own life.
“Uncle was stressed out about debt after being prompted by a website to send 15,000 baht upfront for the loan that never arrived,” he said.
He had filed a complaint with the police in Phetkasem but mistakenly believed that they had ignored his case. “In fact, things have progressed well with agents freezing the offender’s account. They are in the process of finding him,” Colonel Pol Torsak said.
Klong San Police, after liaising with their counterparts at Phetkasem Station, relayed the good news to his uncle and also asked his wife to join them on the bridge to help dissuade him.
The uncle said he was relieved to hear the progress of the case and decided to rescind his suicide offer.
Explaining the details to the media, the uncle said he was late with paying for his taxi and needed 20,000 baht. He found an ad on Facebook for an online lender and contacted it on December 5.
The supposed lender had him send 1,000 baht for the paperwork related to the loan, 3,000 baht to have his name blacklisted, and the rest as a deposit, bringing the total to 15,000. baht. However, he was unable to reach the loan provider again.
Pol Col Torsak said he urged Thais in need of a loan to contact a bank because they are more secure, and the government has launched numerous loan finance programs to help the public during Covid. “When it comes to online lenders, there is a high risk that you will be scammed, especially if they charge fees up front,” he said.
All in one night’s work
A thief from Nakhon Si Thammarat who fell asleep on the job has a long history of theft in the area, police say.
Muang police were called to the Chao Phraya restaurant opposite the municipal market on December 12 when the owner reported a second break-in in two days. However, this time they were fortunate enough to find the burglar, Anucha Thibodi, 34, who had returned for a second attempted robbery in the store but was overcome with fatigue.
Mr. Anucha was found with a bag full of stolen items. After looting the place with his goods, as filmed by the scene’s CCTV camera, he decided to take a nap, but forgot to wake up. When officers found the man, they initially failed to wake him.
“I flew for two nights in a row and was exhausted from fatigue, so I fell asleep before I could walk away,” he said. He was looking for utensils, food, drink and even clothes, he said.
Among the items stolen on her first visit was a red long-sleeved T-shirt, which store owner Prathom Ratthana identified as belonging to her eldest daughter. He was wearing it when the police found him. “I’m angry that he broke two nights in a row. This guy steals everything, even my daughter’s t-shirt, which he had the audacity to wear to work today,” a- she muttered.
Television crews accompanied Mr. Anucha as he guided police to his dilapidated house on Yommarat Road, where they found a large amount of stolen goods, including telephone cables, copper wires, electric cables, outlet banks, utensils and clothing. Mr Anucha said he “collects” old items for sale, although his efforts also extend to theft, which he usually performs with two friends, Bai and Pai. They flew to more than 20 locations, he said.
At the request of the police, the thief took the police to visit these places, including a temple and a roadside shrine. He also took them to the flea market which receives his stolen items for resale. “They are knowledgeable and share the profits. We are looking for his friends,” police said.