PRACHINBURI — What started as an argument about slow service at a grocery store in Prachinburi province escalated into a casual act of arson yesterday, the shop’s owner told police.
Police today are still looking for a man, 40-year-old Suwan Kohmafai, who reportedly fled the scene Tuesday after dousing the store with gasoline and igniting it. The subsequent fire singed snacks, display racks and coolers, but no injuries were reported.
Owner Prakob Sermsombul said Suwan staggered into his store drunk at about 8am Tuesday and requested more alcohol from his wife, Pensri. Suwan then scolded Pensri for taking too long to hand over the bottle, leading them to argue, Prakob said.
Things got out of hand when Suwan reportedly approached Pensri and groped her. She pushed him away. At that point, Pensri’s son heard the commotion and came to his mother’s aid, causing Suwan to flee, Prakob told police yesterday.
Hours later, Suwan returned to the store at 1.30pm with an axe and gallon-can of gas, according to Pensri and her son. That’s when he tipped the can and splashed the fuel around, set it afire and fled the scene.
Maj. Weerapol Sittipunt, an officer at Prachantakham Police Station, said police are investigating the incident and tracking down the suspect. He estimated that the fire caused at least 50,000 baht in damage.
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