Student praised for bravery over serial killer arrest

Student praised for bravery over serial killer arrest

Kasidet “Nong Ray’’ Lertudomtham wins praise from the military and police leaders for his bravery in providing clues that led to the arrest of serial killer Somkid Pumpuang. (Photo by Wassana Nanuam)
Kasidet “Nong Ray’’ Lertudomtham wins praise from the military and police leaders for his bravery in providing clues that led to the arrest of serial killer Somkid Pumpuang. (Photo by Wassana Nanuam)

Military officials and senior police officers have praised a university student for bravery and being a good role model after he spotted a serial killer, took photos and video and sent them to police, leading to the arrest of Somkid Pumpuan on a Surin-Bangkok train.

The military top brass and the national police chief lined up to honour student Kasidet “Nong Ray’’ Lertudomtham and his family.

National police chief Gen Chakthip Chaijinda said authorities wanted to congratulate Kasidet for his virtue and bravery in providing clues to police about a man being hunted by police on murder charges.

The national police chief allayed public fears over the safety of the university student, saying police had provided complete security for him. 

Kasidet, who was willing to disclose his name, got on Bangkok-bound train No. 234 at Khok Kruad station in Muang district of Nakhon Ratchasima on the morning of Dec 18 with his girlfriend. Somkid was also a passenger on board the train.

After his girlfriend recognised the serial killer and pointed him out, Kasidet promptly took out his camera, took photos and a video clip and sent them to the Kranuan police station.  

When the Ubon Ratchathani-Bangkok ordinary train arrived at Pak Chong station at 10.45am, police stormed on board to arrest the convicted killer.

Somkid, dubbed Jack the Ripper of Thailand, is suspected of murdering Ratsami Mulichan, 51, at her house in Ban Mai Chai Mongkol village in Kranuan district of Khon Kaen on Dec 15. The dead woman's son said she had earlier told him her new lover was a lawyer and they had met on Facebook.

Gen Pornpipat Benyasri, chief of the Defence Forces, said the student's actions demonstrated there is no lack of good Samaritans in the country.  Kasidet was still young, but had sharp wits and was able to make a major decision quickly that would benefit the general public, he said. 

Gen Pornpipat thanked the student’s family and the university where he studies for instilling a sense of responsibility in Kasidet.

He also thanked the army and the Territorial Defence Command for their part in training Kasidet, who was a fifth year territorial defence student, to be a good role model.

Army chief Gen Apirat Kongsompong has offered to recruit the student into the military after he completes his university education.

Mr Kasidet thanked the military leaders for giving him a certificate and praising him. He said he decided to alert police that day because he wanted to keep people safe.

He insisted he wasn't concerned for his own safety, but for whomever might become Somkid's next victim.  

He said he took the territorial defence course because he wanted to protect people and perform his patriotic duty. He is interested in becoming a soldier after he completes his study, he said.

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