Police have arrested a taxi driver who allegedly confessed to using a sword to kill an American employee of Caterpillar Thailand on Saturday.
Taxi driver Cherdchai Uttamacha, 32, was taken by police to a crime scene where he allegedly stabbed to death Troy Lee Pilkington, 50, a customer relations manager at Caterpillar Thailand, near Sukhumvit 68 on Saturday evening. THANARAK KHOONTON
Cherdchai Uttamacha, 32, was caught by police at the Ketloy apartment parking lot in Prawet district.
Police impounded the pink taxi Mr Cherdchai was allegedly driving at the time of the attack. The taxi belongs to a Prachachuen-based taxi cooperative.
The Bang Na district police team say Mr Cherdchai admitted slashing and stabbing to death Troy Lee Pilkington, 50, a customer relations manager at Caterpillar Thailand.
The suspect said he picked up Pilkington for a fare at the Central Bang Na department store on Saturday evening.
Pilkington was going to Sukhumvit Soi 85 but the traffic was heavy.
Mr Cherdchai said Pilkington became agitated as they neared Sukhumvit 68.
Pilkington complained the metered fare was increasing too quickly, accusing the driver of jacking up the fare.
Mr Cherdchai said an argument broke out when the fare reached 51 baht.
Pilkington got out of the taxi without paying, Mr Cherdchai said.
He said he followed Pilkington to demand the fare and then the American threw a cup of coffee at him.
Mr Cherdchai allegedly said he took out a one-foot-long knife he kept in the trunk of the car. He said he meant to threaten Pilkington over the fare, but the man walked back toward him.
The taxi driver said he thought Pilkington was going to fight him, and he slashed and stabbed the American with the knife several times, according to police.
Pilkington fell to the ground and then Mr Cherdchai fled in his taxi.
He said he did not think Pilkington was going to die, according to police.
He threw away the knife in Bang Phli district in Samut Prakan and discarded his blood-stained shirt along the motorway in Prawet district, police said.
Police charged Mr Cherdchai with murder and with carrying a weapon in public.
He was detained at Bang Na police station for questioning. Police are waiting the results of an autopsy.