Cadet Prep School Owner Arrested Over Death of Student

Police raided Natthaphol’s house, which doubled as a cadet prep school on June 18.
Police raided Natthaphol’s house, which doubled as a cadet prep school on June 18.

NAKHON SAWAN — The owner of a school that prepares students for military academy entrance examinations was arrested on Tuesday on suspicion of colluding in the fatal beating of one of his students.

Natthaphol Thavornphibun, the owner of P’ Nut Home School, was accused of colluding with four students in the assault on Thapakorn Sapsin, 15. Police raided the school on Tuesday and received accounts of his alleged involvement.

According to police, one of the students confessed that he and his classmates, along with Natthaphol, beat Thapakorn with baseball bats on June 8, before dumping the weapons into Ping River. The confession led to the discovery of four baseball bats Wednesday.

The discovery was a significant development in the case, according to the police, because the bag that held the baseball bats bore Natthaphol’s name tag.

The police are searching for four other baseball bats to be used as evidence against the attackers. Investigators have not concluded who initiated the assault, or whether Natthapol ordered the students to beat their fellow classmate.

Natthapol has denied his involvement in the incident, police said.

Natthapol and three relatives who help him run the school were sent to court on Wednesday. The court has yet to decide whether they will be granted bail. The four student collaborators are yet to be charged as they are juveniles.

Thapakorn’s father, Phisanu Sapsin, 47, told the police that his son was rushed to the hospital while attending the boarding school on Saturday after he suffered injuries to his head, right arm, and back. The teenager was then hospitalized until his death on Friday. The autopsy revealed that his internal organs were bleeding, suggesting he suffered blows to his abdomen.

A former student of P’ Nut Home School, whose name has been withheld, told a Matichon reporter on Saturday that the school was run from a house, where ten students were boarding and training for the entrance examination to a prestigious military academy. They were living under conditions of stringent discipline, with punishments levied for those who disobeyed rules.

A provincial education officer found on Monday that the school was unlicensed.

The entrance examination into the Armed Forces Academies Preparatory School is highly competitive. Only 500 from over 15,000-20,000 candidates are accepted each year. Boys as young as 15 spend years of training in schools like P’ Nut Home School to secure their future in a military career.

The alleged weapon found on Wednesday.
The alleged weapon found on Wednesday.