BANGKOK — An air force lieutenant was arrested Thursday morning after discharging a handgun in front of a police station in a drunken rage, police said.
The serviceman, who remains unnamed, allegedly drove to Bang Khen Police Station at about 3.30am and fired a shot from his Glock handgun. His brother was being questioned by police inside the station for starting a bar fight, officers said.
“He is a confirmed officer of the air force, as reported in the news,” station chief Amnart Intarasuan said by phone. “We pressed charges last night [sic]. He was granted bail.”
Col. Amnart would not give additional information, saying it is a sensitive matter because it involves two branches of the armed forces. He would not give the airman’s name.
“I don’t want to give too much of an interview on the phone, because it might be inappropriate,” the station superintendent said. “He is in the military. They have their own procedures.”
According to the police, the air force officer arrived at Bang Khen Police Station after his brother was sent there for starting a bar fight.
“Who is messing around with my brother?” the officer shouted before firing the gun into the night sky, police said. He appeared to be heavily intoxicated and initially resisted arrest, according to witnesses.
Air force spokesman Pongsak Semachai confirmed the man was one of its servicemen, but would not identify him by name.
Bang Khen Station chief Amnart said the unnamed officer will stand trial in military court as per the usual protocols.
“He confessed,” Col. Amnart said. “We have forwarded the case to the military court prosecutors.”
Police and military officers often carry their firearms even when off-duty, and cases of men in uniform firing their weapons in a fight are a common occurrence.
In June, a soldier was arrested in Trang province after gunning down a mobile shop owner. The suspect later said he misunderstood the owner insulted him.