Shootout at the truckyard
A container truck driver has offered no apology after shooting to death his workmate and wounding another, with one report claiming he would have killed both given a chance.
Piset Likitsantipong, 38, a haulage driver for a transport company in Bang Phli, Samut Prakan, started fighting with his co-workers on March 10 in a dispute over parking their big rigs which quickly escalated.
Mr Piset parked his container truck behind another truck driven by Prasit Petchpan, 61, at the company's yard. The older man was accompanied in the cab by his nephew, Wattanaporn Sompakdee, 17.
Mr Prasit was about to drive outside but needed to reverse to accomplish the manoeuvre. However, with Mr Piset's truck parked at his rear, he was hemmed in.
That's all it took. In scenes captured by the company's CCTV, Mr Prasit bounded out of his truck and started exchanging words with Mr Piset. He also thumped his truck with his fist.
While managing such huge, lumbering vehicles would be enough to test anyone's patience, all three men appeared to be spoiling for a fight. "I reversed preparing to drive out of the yard, but the old man kept honking his horn," Mr Piset told police later.
"I parked outside but the old man followed and challenged me. Someone brought out a knife, but our workmates held us apart. But still the old man wouldn't stop; he started throwing rocks at my vehicle," he added.
The angry words bubbled over into threats in which Mr Piset said Mr Prasit's nephew, Wattanaporn, threatened to kill him.
The next morning, he returned to the yard with his partner in their Toyota Vios. He said he intended to quit but ran into Mr Prasit and his nephew first. "I taunted them about their threats to kill me the day before," he said.
Young Wattanaporn grabbed a knife and charged at Mr Piset. "I ran to my vehicle where I kept the gun, pulled it out and shot him." The bullet entered his rib cage, killing him.
It didn't end there. "The old man raced at me and tried to wrest the weapon from my grip," Mr Piset said. He reloaded and shot Mr Prasit as he was climbing into his vehicle, hitting him in the shoulder.
Mr Piset said he bought the gun some 13 years ago for his own protection against petrol thieves. He denies taking it along with him with the intention of shooting the pair. "I didn't want it to end this way, but I wasn't the one who started it," he said in tears, as he spoke to reporters. He wasn't sure what to say to the bereaved, as the deed was done now.
"As for the injured man, I don't feel anything for him, as he assaulted me the day before," he said. "They dared me and went too far," he said, adding, according to one newspaper report, that he intended to kill both the old man and his nephew but his girlfriend urged him to stop.
Lying injured from the bullet wound as he was being attended by rescue workers, Mr Prasit said both Mr Piset and Wattanaporn brought out knives on the first day of their row. He and Wattanaporn come originally from Nakhon Ratchasima. Police charged Mr Piset with murder with intent, attempting to kill, and firearms offences.
He didn't see that coming
A crazed drug addict who tried to kill his family was shot dead by his own father in a dramatic reversal of fortunes outside the family home.
Police with one of the weapons involved in the shootout.
Saman, 59, shot dead his oldest son, Nattapong "James" Jaikham, 30, after James stormed his home in Wiang Sa district of Nan province on March 7.
Earlier, he had called his father to say he was coming around to kill everyone.
James had just argued with his girlfriend at her place and at such moments liked to take out his frustrations of his family, Mr Saman told police later.
Mr Saman, aware that his son might deliver on his threat, looked under his son's bed where he found a Thai-modified short-barrelled shotgun.
His son had left it there when he stormed out of the house the week before. It was to come in handy when James shot at his father later that evening with another weapon he brought with him.
After having a meal, Mr Saman and relatives were sitting in the back of his pickup chatting when a dog at the back of the house started barking.
"James leapt out of the darkness and pulled out a gun. I took cover by the side of the vehicle. I heard him get off one round, but then the gun jammed.
"He was trying to reload, so I shot him with the gun I found under the bed," Mr Saman said. His son fell to the ground dead.
Mr Saman, in shock at having just killed his son, threw his weapon into nearby bushes. He called the village elder, who contacted the police.
Wiang Sa police say James was well-known to law enforcement. He was serving probation after having been convicted of drug possession.
A long-term drug habit had led to his aggressive behaviour. A month ago, he set his Dad's house alight but his father and the neighbours were able to put it out. Then a week ago, he smashed up belongings at his Dad's place, and broke the windscreen of Mr Saman's six-wheeler truck, before fleeing home to stay with his girlfriend in Santisuk district.
Locals say he was prone to flaring up and regarded as a neighbourhood menace. "We're disgusted with him. When he was nabbed for drugs he accused his family of tipping them off," one said.
On the night of the shootout, James took his motorcycle and hid it in a longan plantation about 1km away from his father's place.
He cut across farmland to reach the rear of his Dad's house. He intended to attack the occupants of the place by surprise. However, his father was alerted to his furtive arrival thanks to the barking dog.
Police said they were gathering evidence and had no word on any charges Mr Saman would face.
Fake copper full of bull
A man impersonated a police officer to con farmers into parting with cash for cattle he claimed he was keen to sell, police say.
Wuttisak Pitakchanim, who impersonated a police officer to con farmers into parting with cash for buffaloes he was touting for sale.
Bang Sai police in Ayutthaya nabbed Wuttisak Pitakchanim, 58, wearing a police lieutenant's uniform, as he was talking to a homeowner. When they asked to see his police ID card he tried to flee, without success.
They were acting on a complaint by Pairat Unha, 40, a village head from Chang Lek sub-district, who said Mr Wuttisak tried to sell him some buffalo.
"I was tending to my livestock at home the other day when this policeman approached me. He said he was selling 20 head of buffalo for 250,000 baht, but added that if I was willing to take the lot he would discount them by 1,000 baht a head," Mr Pairat said later.
"I grew suspicious when the cop brought out a picture of his buffalo. I thought I had seen it before; it's one of those pictures which cattle farmers like me exchange among ourselves and probably came from the internet. I thought he was unlikely to be a real cop," he added.
Another complainant, Amnat Ayupool, 26, a farmer in Phatthana Nikhom district, Lop Buri, said he lost 330,000 baht to the fake policeman's scheming ways.
Mr Amnat, who spoke to the media after hearing about Mr Wuttisak's arrest in Ayutthaya, said the suspect showed him the same picture of the buffalo he was supposedly selling and claimed his wife was gored to death by one animal, so he wanted to sell.
"I paid him 330,000 baht in cash as he was dressed in a police uniform so thought he was unlikely to cheat me. However, he failed to deliver the cattle, which is when I knew I had been conned," he said.
Mr Wuttisak, originally from Uttaradit, admitted defrauding farmers. He said he dressed in a police uniform to look credible. A search of his pickup turned up a spare uniform, cap, name plates and fake registration plates.
Police said he took the money he defrauded from farmers and gambled it on casinos in Poipet. When he ran out, he'd return and try to con someone else.
Officers, who charged him with theft and impersonating a policeman, are appealing to other victims to come forward.