CHONBURI — Police have arrested the son of a prominent businessman for racing a sports car with friends yesterday morning in Pattaya, a popular resort town south of Bangkok.
Police intercepted the car, a Nissan GTR 35, after it was seen racing at a high speed along a beachfront road in Pattaya at around 2 am on Saturday.
The driver was identified as Lertvarit Lertvorapreecha, 20, the eldest son of Degree Lighting Store owner Sirin Lertvorapreecha. The police escorted Mr. Lertvarit to Muang Pattaya Police Station for further investigation and confiscated his car as evidence.
Shortly after Mr. Lertvarit was arrested, his friends arrived at the police station and demanded police release Mr. Lertvarit from custody. When police refused, some members of the group turned to reporters and berated them for taking photos of Mr. Lertvarit.
One of the suspect's friends also demanded a reporter delete his photos, leading to a round of argument.
Police later checked the license plates the friends' vehicles and discovered that one of them had a fake plate. The driver claimed he recently changed his license plate and has already applied for a new registration. The group then immediately fled the police station without Mr. Lertvarit.
Police charged Mr. Lertvarit with reckless driving and released him on a 20,000 baht bail.
Pol.Col. Suphatee Boonkrong, the commander of Muang Pattaya Police, said Mr. Lertvarit's friends phoned several "influential figures" and threatened him to drop the charges against the suspect.
"We didn't care and pressed charges anyway," Pol.Col. Suphatee said.
Mr. Lertvarit is said to have recently graduated from a British university. He has made headlines in celebrity news by announcing that he is dating the famous Thai actress Marie Broenner. His family business is one of the leading interior decoration companies in Thailand.
Several cases of reckless driving by the children of wealthy Thais have made headlines in recent years.
In December 2011, Orachorn "Praewa" Thephasadin Na Ayudhya, a 17-year-old heiress to a prominent family, was driving without a license on a tollway in a Bangkok suburb when she crashed her car into a public minivan and killed nine people.
She was given a suspended sentence of three years in prison and required to participate in community service for 48 hours.
Less than a year later, Vorayuth Yoovidhya, heir of the famous Red Bull energy drink fortune, killed a police officer with his Ferrari near a nightlife district in Bangkok. Mr. Vorayuth fled to Singapore shortly after the incident and has been living abroad ever since.
For comments, or corrections to this article please contact: [email protected]