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Taxi driver Charin Chumket was shocked when he learned from media reports that he was a suspect in a robbery and assault case. Things quickly went from bad to worse.
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Taxi driver Charin Chumket and City Police chief Khamronwit Thoopkrachang talk to the media after Mr Charin’s release. Post Today photo from FM91BKK.com
Falsely arrested, taxi driver gets 20,000 baht
Taxi driver Charin Chumket was shocked when he learned from media reports that he was a suspect in a robbery and assault case.
The victim, Chollada Jarasit, 25, a catering staff member of Thai Airways International who took a taxi on the night of July 1, remembered the license number of the vehicle. It matched that of the taxi he was driving.
Mr Charin, 35, had done nothing wrong, so he turned himself into police the next day hoping to clear up suspicions that he was involved.
His nightmare only got worse, however. Four victims – including Ms Chollada – who had been robbed and subjected to rape attempts by a taxi driver mistakenly identified him as the culprit based on his plate number.
He was detained for two days at Lat Krabang police station and seven days at Min Buri court.
Fortunately for him, the real culprit committed another robbery in the same area. The victim described the same licence plate number as Mr Charin's vehicle. Police then arrested Thinapat Sirisopachotikul, 36.
Pol Maj Gen Pisit Pisutsak, the city police deputy chief, said Mr Thinapat admitted robbing and assaulting passengers. Thinapat told police he had adhered a sticker of a fake licence number to his car.
Yesterday, Mr Charin, now a free man, met with City Police chief Khamronwit Thoopkrachang, who admitted police had made a mistake. Mr Charin received a payment of 20,000 baht for false arrest.
Mr Charin was remarkably forgiving, saying he was not thinking of taking action against those who had misidentified him. He understood their situation, he said, and attributed his misfortune to simple bad luck.
All he was interested in was his freedom and getting back to his wife and two children, he said.
Adapted from stories in today’s Bangkok Post and Post Today.
media – newspapers, television, radio, etc. สื่อ
release – allowing someone to go free การปล่อยตัว
arrested – caught by the police and taken to a police station because you are believed to have committed a crime ถูกจับกุม
shocked – very surprised and upset ตกใจ
suspect – a person who is thought to have committed a crime ผู้ต้องสงสัย
robbery – the crime of stealing money or goods from a bank, shop/store, person, etc การปล้น, การโจรกรรม
assault – attacking someone violently การทำร้ายร่างกาย
victim – someone who has been harmed, injured or killed as the result of a crime เหยื่อผู้เคราะห์ร้าย
catering – the job or organising the food and drinks for an event such as a party or meeting, or for a business that feeds people like an airline or hotel การจัดเลี้ยง
licence number (plate) – a flat piece of metal or plastic on the front and back of a vehicle that shows its license number แผ่นป้ายทะเบียนรถยนต์
match – to be the same as or very similar to something else เท่าเทียมกันกับ, เท่ากันกับ
turn yourself in – to give yourself up to the police ยอมจำนน
suspicion – something that creates a feeling that someone or something cannot be trusted — ความสงสัย
involved – taking part or having a role in something เกี่ยวข้อง
nightmare – an extremely unpleasant event or experience or possible event or experience; a very upsetting or frightening dream ฝันร้าย
subject to – affected by; forced to experience ได้รับผล
rape – the crime of forcefully having sex with someone against their wish การข่มขืน
identify – to specify who someone is ระบุชื่อ
culprit – someone who has done something wrong ผู้กระทำความผิด
detain – to keep someone in a police station or prison and not allow them to leave กักตัว ควบคุมตัวหรือฝากขัง
fortunately – used for emphasising that something good has happened, especially because of good luck อย่างโชคดี, อย่างเคราะห์ดี
commit – to do something wrong or illegal ทำความผิด
deputy – a person whose rank is immediately below that of the leader of an organisation รอง
admit – to agree that something is true, especially when you are unhappy, sorry or surprised about it ยอมรับ
adhere – to cause something to stick to a surface ทำให้ติด
sticker – a sticky label (paper, plastic, etc.) with a picture or message on it, that you stick onto something สติ๊กเกอร์
fake – made to look like something real in order to trick people ปลอมแปลง
remarkably – in a way that is unusual and surprises or impresses you อย่างน่าอัศจรรย์ใจ
forgiving – willing to forgive (to stop feeling angry with somebody who has done something to harm, annoy or upset you) ซึ่งให้อภัย, ซึ่งยกโทษให้
misidentify – to make a mistake in specifying who some is ระบุชื่อผิด
attribute to – to believe that something is the result of a particular situation, event, or person’s actions ถือว่าเป็นของ
misfortune – bad luck; something harmful or unpleasant that happens to someone โชคร้าย, เคราะห์ร้าย, ความอาภัพ
freedom – the state of not being a prisoner อิสรภาพ, เสรีภาพ