Seven officers charged in suspected gambler's death

Seven officers charged in suspected gambler's death

Seven police officers face charges of assault that brought on the death of a suspected gambler with a heart condition in Bangkok earlier this month.

The detectives on Saturday denied the charges, saying they were unaware of the man’s chronic condition and had no intention to cause his death, said Pol Col Khomsak Sumangkaset, deputy commander of Metropolitan Police Division 2. 

Don Daengchantip, 34, died from blood circulatory failure as he tried to flee police during a raid on a Huai Khwang gambling den on Nov 2, the Institute of Forensic Medicine reported on Friday.

The suspected gambler made two attempts to escape and officers pursued him, police said at the time. Because he weighed 120 kilogrammes and was resisting arrest, it took several officers to subdue him. Surveillance camera footage clearly showed that the man later stopped moving. Detectives then tried CPR and called for help but to no avail, Pol Col Khomsak said.

Earlier, relatives of Don complained that the police officers had beaten him to death during the raid on an illegal dice game in the Rungrueang Tonplai community.

As well, witnesses have alleged that officers threw the suspect violently against a galvanised steel fence and stomped on him to prevent him from fleeing.

On Saturday morning, interrogators at the Sutthisan police station charged the seven colleagues who had arrested Don with fatal assault because the arrest had led to the death, the deputy commander said.

The seven officers were transferred to general administrative duties pending the outcome of the legal procedures against them, Pol Col Khonmsak said.

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