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Acid attack suspect arrested (updated)

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Reports of acid attacks on Bangkok pedestrians have been circulating for months. Now police say they have a suspect. Today he admitted to carrying out about 30 attacks. 

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Scavenger Rachan Theerakitnukul re-enacts one of his crimes with two of his victims present. THITI WANNAMONTHA

Evening update

A 50-year-old scavenger has confessed to a series of "acid" attacks in Bangkok, admitting to about 30 offences in two months, police said on Monday morning.

Pol Maj Gen Kamronwit Thoopkrachang, the acting metropolitan police chief, said scrap dealer Rachan Theerakitnukul told investigators that he felt quite normal but had consumed crystal methamphetamine, or ice.

His victims included Thai women and a British woman as well as dogs and cats on the streets, Pol Maj Gen Kamronwit said.

scavenger – a person who tries to find things of valuable in rubbish and other things that have been thrown away คนหรือสัตว์ที่คุ้ยหาของตามกองขยะ
confess – to admit that you have committed a crime  สารภาพผิด
admit – to agree that something is true, especially when you are unhappy, sorry or surprised about it  ยอมรับ
offence – a crime or illegal activity for which there is a punishment  การกระทำผิดกฎหมาย
acting – doing the work of the usual person in a particular job while they are not there, or until a new person starts ที่รักษาการแทน
metropolitan – relating to a large city เกี่ยวกับเมืองใหญ่
investigator – someone whose job is to officially find out the facts about something – ผู้สอบสวน,  ผู้สำรวจ, ผู้ตรวจสอบ
normal – typical, usual or ordinary; what you would expect ภาวะปกติ
consume – to eat or drink something บริโภค
methamphetamine – a stimulant drug that increases alertness and energy, but which is dangerous when taken in large amounts or over a long period of time ยาบ้า
crystal methamphetamine – a colorless, odorless form of d-methamphetamine, a powerful and highly addictive synthetic (man-made) stimulant  ยาไอซฺ
victim – someone who has been harmed, injured or killed as the result of a crime เหยื่อผู้เคราะห์ร้าย

Morning story


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Acid attack suspect arrested

Reports of random acid attacks on Bangkok pedestrians have been circulating for months – especially on the internet.

In today's Post Bag, the Bangkok Post's letters to the editor section, there is a letter stating that a visitor from England was attacked last September. 

"On Sept 5, 2011, my visitor from England fell victim to an ‘‘acid’’ splasher between Or Tor Kor Market (Chatuchak) and the expressway entrance in full daylight.

"The splasher was an iron scrap collector and was pedalling a rod khen. He splashed a container of some acrid liquid full into her face and pedalled off."

The letter goes on to say that shopkeepers in the area “intimated that this was not an isolated happening."

News of such "acid" attacks have hit the headlines only recently, however, when a number of victims showed off some ugly and painful wounds.

Yesterday, police announced that they finally have a suspect in custody.

Rachan Theerakitnukul, 50, a saleng, or scrap collector, was arrested while riding a tricycle at the entrance of Intammara Soi 39 in the Din Daeng area yesterday.,

A bottle of Duck brand toilet cleaner was found in his possession, Sutthisan police said.

Mr Rachan initially refused to speak to police, but after two hours of interrogation, he allegedly confessed to throwing toilet-cleansing liquid at one victim in the Saphan Khwai area.

He claimed social discrimination and insults by people in society drove him to carry out the attack.

Police said he told them he had picked the toilet cleaner used in the attack out of a rubbish bin.

Thus far, four female victims have filed complaints at Bang Sue, Phahon Yothin, Lumpini and Sutthisan police stations.

City police believe the attacks were all carried out by the same person.

Mr Rachan is not yet formally considered the prime suspect while police await results of forensic tests on the liquid used in the attacks.

Adapted from a story in today’s Bangkok Post.

acid – a chemical, usually a liquid, that contains hydrogen and has a pH of less than seven. Acids are usually sour and can often burn holes in or damage things they touch. กรด, ของเหลวที่มีฤทธิ์เป็นกรด, ของเหลวที่มีสภาพเป็นกรด
suspect – a person who is thought to have committed a crime ผู้ต้องสงสัย
random – without a particular method, pattern, or purpose มั่ว ลวกๆ, มักง่าย,
pedestrian – a person who walks, especially in an area where vehicles go คนเดินถนน
circulate – to send to many different people หมุนเวียน
editor – a person who is in charge of a newspaper, magazine, etc, or part of one, and who decides what should be included บรรณาธิการ
victim – someone who has been harmed, injured or killed as the result of a crime เหยื่อผู้เคราะห์ร้าย
splash – to hit something noisily with a liquid สาดกระเด็น, กระเด็นเปื้อน
scrap – old metal or paper that can be used again after going through a special process   เหล็กเก่า ๆ สำหรับหล่อหลอมและเปลี่ยนรูปใหม่,เศษเหล็ก,  เป็นชิ้นเล็กชิ้นน้อย
pedal – to push the pedals of a bicycle round with your feet ถีบจักรยาน
container – something used for storing or holding things, for example a box, bottle, or bowl ภาชนะใส่ของ, หีบบรรจุ
acrid – of a smell or taste that is very strong, bitter and unpleasant in your nose and throat
intimate – very close, friendly and personal คุ้นเคย, ใกล้ชิด, สนิทสนม
isolated – alone โดดเดี่ยว
headline – the title of a newspaper story that is printed in large letters ข่าวพาดหัว
wound – an injury in which your skin or flesh is damaged บาดแผล
suspect – a person who is thought to have committed a crime ผู้ต้องสงสัย
in custody – under the control of the police, usually in a jail อยู่ใต้การคุ้มครอง
brand – a type of product made by a particular company ตรา, ยี่ห้อ
interrogation – asking someone a lot of questions in order to get information การสอบถาม, การซักถาม
initially – at first ในเบื้องต้น
refuse – to say you will not do something that someone has asked you to do ปฏิเสธ
allegedly – claimed to have done something wrong, but not yet proven ที่กล่าวหา
confess – to admit that you have committed a crime  สารภาพผิด
discrimination – the practice of treating someone or a particular group in society less fairly than others การเลือกปฏิบัติ, การแบ่งแยก
insult – to say or do something to someone that is rude or offensive พูดแดกดัน, พูดจาบจ้วง
rubbish bin – a container that you put waste in ถังขยะ
female – being a woman or a girl สตรี, ผู้หญิง, เพศหญิ
file a complaint – to make an official statement that someone has done something wrong ยื่นคำร้อง
formally – officially; following an agreed or official way of doing things  อย่างเป็นทางการ
prime – main or most important ที่สำคัญที่สุด
forensic – relating to the use of scientific methods to solve  crimes or to find out why something happened เกี่ยวกับนิติวิทยาศาสตร์

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