Suspect arrested in robbery, gruesome death of toddler in Thailand
UNTV News • January 22, 2020 • 523
By Lobsang DS Subirana
Bangkok – Police said Wednesday they had arrested a man they suspect killed three people, among them a toddler, and injured another four during the robbery of a jewelry shop in a central province in Thailand.
Gen. Chakthip Chaijinda, a commissioner-general of the Royal Thai Police, confirmed the arrest of Prasittichai Khaokaew, a 39-year-old school director, who he said was linked to the gruesome incident at a Lopburi province shopping center earlier this month, footage of which went viral.
“The alleged offender has been questioned about his motives but details cannot be revealed at the moment since we have not finished the investigation process yet,” Chakthip said during a media briefing.
Prasittichai was arrested Wednesday morning after the criminal court issued an arrest warrant Tuesday evening.
Police did not reveal further details and said another press conference would be held at 10.30 am on Thursday at the Royal Thai Police Headquarters in the capital Bangkok, adding they would address the motives and official charges against the suspect.
“The alleged offender did not deny any of the charges,” the commissioner-general said. “He thought he wouldn’t be able to get away with it.”
Chakthip also said Prasittichai did not resist arrest and that he “accepted his own mistakes.”
Prasittichai teaches at Wat Phochai School, a primary school located in Singburi, a neighboring province of Lopburi. Local media said he was originally from Lopburi, but police did not confirm this.
Security camera footage from Jan. 10 shows how a man wearing a balaclava shoots at customers and staff while approaching the counter. He then gets on the counter and proceeds to walk up and down, before rummaging through valuables and making off with a handful of jewelry.
Police said the man, who was wielding a gun with a silencer, first shot at a security guard before proceeding with his rampage.
A separate video shows how a child walking by falls to the ground after sustaining a wound to the head before his mother takes him away to find cover. Authorities said the boy died at the hospital.
Out of the more than 10 million firearms in Thailand, only 6 million are legally registered, according to Australian monitoring organization GunPolicy.org. EFE-EPA
Schools across Thailand re-opened on Wednesday (July 1) with coronavirus prevention measures in place, following months of closure.
Nearly 5,000 students returned to Sam Khok school, about 50 km north of Bangkok, wearing face masks and receiving face shields and temperature checks from the school.
“Once students arrive at school, teachers hand face masks to them because it’s mandatory to wear them. We (school) are also providing face shields for students’ project presentations or for eating,” said principal Chuchart Thiengtham.
He added that students were told to stay in home quarantine for 15 days before school re-started as an extra precaution.
The school has also turned old ballot boxes into classroom partitions to enforce social distancing between students.
“I feel safe, but annoyed at the same time because partition blocked my view,” said 17-year-old student, Soponwich Thianthong.
Thailand on Wednesday marked 37 days without a case of local transmission. The coronavirus has killed 58 people among its 3,173 infections.
The country has extended an emergency decree until the end of July in a bid to avoid the risk of a second wave of the coronavirus, although it is also set to ease more restrictions on Wednesday, including reopening bars and allowing some foreigners into the country. (Reuters)
No more touching in the elevators as a Thai shopping mall in Bangkok installed foot pedals for customers to step on instead of pressing the buttons, lowering the risk of having to be exposed to germs.
“Now everyone is worried about getting infected with the COVID-19 and the easiest way to get infected is that when you touch an object that has been contaminated with the COVID-19 virus, and then eventually touch your face and the virus will go into your mouth, your eyes or whatever. So, we came up with this idea of hand-free foot-operated elevator,” said Prote Sosothikul, the vice president of Seacon Development PLC which oversees the mall.
The foot-operated elevator pedal system is also welcomed by mall customers, saying they felt safer to use the lift without actually touching the buttons, reducing the risk of getting infected.
“I think they did a good job in preparing this. I feel much safer… Now that we can use our foot to press the elevator, it’s really great,” said 26-year-old Watcharaporn.
Thailand on Sunday (May 17) reopened malls and department stores for the first time since March in its second phase of relaxing measures as the number of new cases slowed.
Thailand has reported a total of 3,034 cases of the coronavirus and 56 deaths. (Reuters)
There were no Filipino nationals harmed during the shooting incident in Thailand, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).
In a statement, the DFA said no one from the nine reported Filipinos was harmed when a shooting incident occurred in Nakhon Ratchasima Province, Thailand, from the evening of February 8 until the early morning of February 9.
“The Philippine Embassy in Bangkok dispatched First Secretary and Consul General Val Roque posthaste to Nakhon Ratchasima to check on nine Filipinos who were reported to have been trapped in the mall at the time of the incident and had been able to escape and confirmed to be well and safe,” the statement reads.
The Philippine government and the Filipino people, meanwhile, offer their condolences to the Thai people, and in particular to the victims and their loved ones.—AAC
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