Khon Kaen 'Stone-Throwing Gang' Rampage Terrorises Motorists

(17 July) 9 motorists
complained to police in Kon Khaen province over the course of a single night about unidentified
assailants throwing stones into their windshields as they drove along the interprovincial Mittaparp
Road.

The vehicles, mostly ten-wheeler trucks with some cars and smaller trucks, suffered
damage in the front windshields and side windows. The incidents took place around 250-251 Kilometre
Mark in Muang District.

The drivers told police they saw group of individuals in the
darkness near of their moving vehicles, and moments later their vehicles would be attacked with
stones – some of which moved at very high velocity due to the momentum of the moving vehicles toward
the objects.

Despite the potentially lethal nature of the incidents, no injury was
reported.

When highway police patrols inspect the crime scene after receiving such reports,
the officers spotted a group of suspicious individuals in the wooded area near the main road.
However, upon seeing the officers, the group quickly fled on their motorcycles.

Our
correspondent reported that a bus driver also came forward to report about a similar incident that
took place earlier in the same vicinity. The driver, who was driving a private headed for Bangkok on
13 July, said his windshield was smashed by a piece rock around 21.00, but the glass managed to
absorb the impact.

He said that if the glass did not hold, he would have been hit by the
stone and subsequently lose control of the bus. However, he did not make formal report to the
police, and the police urged him to do so in order to proceed with criminal charge against the
suspects.

A senior police officer told our correspondent that the police detectives are
keeping close eyes on local youths who might be the potential troublemakers.

?Stone-throwing
gangs? are known to attack motorists in some major interprovincial highways at night, using cover of
darkness to get away quickly. Police believe that the individuals simply copycat behaviour from
other cases and committed the crime out of fun.

Some cases led to tragic consequences. Few
months ago, a university student was smashed with a brick as she drove along the highway west of
Bangkok. She was admitted to hospital with grave injuries, and the doctors were uncertain whether
she would ever fully recover. A suspect was later arrested; he confessed that he did it out of
frustration because he got in fight with his lover earlier.