Update: Police on Friday evening said they arrested the perpetrator and identified him as a 32-year-old Thai national.
BANGKOK — Police are on the hunt for a man caught on CCTV smearing his saliva on the elevator buttons at BTS National Stadium Friday to check if he has the coronavirus.
Police spokesman Col. Kissana Phathanacharoen said investigators will determine whether the man, who remains unidentified, was trying to spread the coronavirus, or was just creating some good, old-fashioned public uncleanliness.
If the man tested positive for the coronavirus, he may be charged with violating a 2015 law on preventing epidemic, which carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison, Kissana said by phone. If he didn’t, the man could still be charged with public disturbance and uncleanliness offenses, which carries a punishment of one month in jail.
The man was seen entering the elevator at 5:23am on Friday. He also reached into his groin before rubbing the elevator buttons.
In a statement, BTS operators said staff already spotted the man’s behavior via a security camera and tried to apprehend him, but he ran away towards Rama I Road.
The BTS says they have since sanitized the elevator.
The CCTV footage, posted around noon Friday on singer Win Weerachai’s Facebook page, has more than 621,000 views as of press time.