(2 May) Police are left scratching their heads after a soldier, who was possibly under influence of drugs and alcohol, went on a rampage, leaving trails of injuries and contradictory, surreal narratives of the events.
Police officers from Muang Ang Thong station received reports of a soldier on a mad rampage attacking people. Police rushed to the scene to find Private Somyos Jaengjai, 23, of 20th Battalion, Saraburi province, madly strolling Po Phra Ya street armed with a wooden pole and a bottle.
Authorities have requested additional support. The soldier was stopped by a second hand goods shop owner and called into the shop, with the metal door closing behind him.
The police called him to come out, but he refused, saying he will not leave until the authorities bring the man who had threatened him with a gun in. The shop owner would not cooperate with the police and the police had to barge into the back door of the shop to arrest Private Somyos, fearing further danger to bystanders.
After his apprehension, the situation took a bizarre turn when an anonymous drunken man suddenly ran over and kicked Private Somyos, causing his mother to angrily slap the man. Police had to separate the two in the chaotic struggle.
Upon questioning, Private Somyos revealed that before the incident, he was talking to his wife in his sister’s shop, then they started fighting. During the fight, a man who claimed to be a senior district official came over and aimed a gun at his face, fired it in the air, and drove away. The soldier said he became angry and grabbed a wooden pole and marched into the street.
Ms. Jitra Jaengjai, 25, Private Somyos’s sister, said that she has a shop near the PTT gas station. Before the incident, she was sitting with her friends while Private Somyos
and his wife, Tik, were having a violent fight where Tik was physically abused and lost consciousness. She wanted to take Tik to the hospital but Private Somyos did not let her and came at her with a wooden pole.
At that moment, Mr. Suparerk, her friend, tried to deter the soldier and got pushed to the floor, injuring his leg. He just grabbed her keys and left in the black and grey Nissan Big M, license plate 4096.
Ms. Tik came to and the self-proclaimed senior district official allegedly walked in to break up the fight, but Private Somyos would not stop. The man then shot his gun towards the sky and drove off. Private Somyos became enraged and walked out to the street carrying weapons and disappeared into the second hand goods store, which belonged to their father.
Ms. Jitra added that her brother was drunk and on drugs, and so was his wife. Private Somyos had a very aggressive temperament and often fought with his wife. He is also an army deserter, she said.
Mr. Suparerk, 25, said that he is a friend of Miss Jitra and saw the incident from when the soldier hit Miss Jitra. He tried to stop the soldier because he was Miss Jitra’s friend, but got pushed to the floor by the soldier, injuring his leg due to the fact that he had metal fixtures in his leg. He also added that he saw the man who came in to fire a shot, but did not know who he was.
According to reports, after the apprehension of Private Somyos, he was still causing a scene and had to be confined on a police van to be further tested for drug use. It was not immediately clear whether he tested positive for drug abuse.