MAE HONG SON — One of the two Russian men who were arrested for breaking into a temple in northern Thailand on Sunday stabbed a police officer while in custody yesterday, police say.
The suspect, identified as Voge Vladimir (name transcribed from Thai text), was reportedly being led from his holding cell at Pai Police Station to the immigration department when he stabbed Lt. Prasert Puttawong across the head and wrist.
Police officers and the other suspect then tackled Vladimir and held him down, while Lt. Prasert was sent to hospital. Medical workers say his condition is “severe” but gradually improving.
Police say Vladimir’s knife was hidden beneath his clothes, and that officers failed to spot it when they searched him after his arrest on 14 December.
Vladimir and his accomplice, Kubik Kachchek (name transcribed from Thai text), were arrested on Sunday after they broke into a temple in the resort town of Pai. The temple's abbot told police the two suspects dressed up as monks, damaged property inside the temple compound, and stole 1,000 baht. Vladimr and Kubik tested positive for drug use upon their arrest, police say.
Pol.Col. Worapol Polmanee, superintendent of Pai Police Station, said the property damage and theft charges against the suspects were dropped after the temple abbot said he forgave the two men.
"We were waiting for the suspects' relatives to wire money from abroad to pay for damages at the temple," Pol.Col. Worapol said. "But then [Vladimir] used his knife to attack a police officer."
Vladimir is now facing an attempted murder charge and Kubrik will be deported from Thailand, Pol.Col. Worapol said.
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