BANGKOK — Ananchai Chaiyadech was working in his office Sunday morning. Outside, a group of young men who had been drinking for six hours passed a bread stall and taunted the disabled man working there.
“They were so drunk, you could see it in their eyes,” said the lawyer, estimating they drank from 2am until 8am.
That man, Somkiat Srichan, took offense and shouted back. Ananchai felt both powerless and horrified by what happened next, as he watched the six men use knives and bricks to stab and beat Somkiat, who lacked the use of one leg and tried hopping away, to death in the street.
“Can you imagine seeing someone you know being murdered right in front of you?” Ananchai said. “He kept backing off. He was fleeing for his life. He was cornered in the end, but I couldn’t help him.”
Several of the suspects continued slashing at Somkiat’s lifeless body, according to a police report of the incident, when officers arrived at the scene, prompting them to fire shots into the air to get control of the situation.
Four of the six men arrested for Somkiat’s murder were sons of police officers. The entire thing was recorded by a nearby mobile phone camera. That footage went viral after it was posted on social media, drawing widespread attention to the case.