Police arrest 11 thugs over hospital strife

Police arrest 11 thugs over hospital strife

Deadly fracas leaves trail of destruction

Five injured teenagers meet Samrong Tai police investigators on Monday to give testimony.
Five injured teenagers meet Samrong Tai police investigators on Monday to give testimony.

SAMUT PRAKAN: Police have arrested 11 young men after rioting broke out at two hospitals in Phra Pradaeng district on Sunday after a brawl between two rival groups that left one man dead and two injured.

Pol Col Panlop Aramla, deputy commander of Samut Prakan provincial police, said the arrests were made after investigators had obtained photos of the rioting captured by closed circuit television cameras at the two hospitals, as well as statements from two injured teenagers.

Pol Col Panlop said the rioting men damaged medical equipment at the two hospitals -- Vibharam Chaiprakarn Hospital and Muangsamut Poo Chao Hospital.

Samrong Tai police chief investigator Pol Lt Col Sumeth Salee said the two groups of men began fighting early on Sunday evening in front of a house in Moo 10 village in tambon Bang Ya Phraek.

One man, Ratchapong Wassana, 22, was stabbed in the right of his chest and seriously injured. He fell unconscious and was rushed by friends to Vibharam Chaiprakarn Hospital in Phra Pradaeng district.

Two members of the other group, identified later as Thanapol Thongchaiya, 21, and Chayakorn Hachai, 20, were also injured. They were admitted to Muangsamut Hospital, a few kilometres away from Vibharam Chaiprakarn Hospital.

At around 6pm at Vibharam Chaiprakarn Hospital, where Ratchapong was being treated in an emergency ward, about 20 of his friends arrived on motorcycles.

A doctor told them and a group of relatives that Ratchapong had died, despite their best efforts to save his life. This enraged his friends, who went on the rampage -- attacking the doctors other hospital staff and sending them fleeing in fear.

The rioting men damaged medical equipment, smashed glass doors and windows of the emergency ward and whatever they could lay their hands on. The mob then learned that two injured members of the other gang were in Muangsamut Poo Chao Hospital. They abruptly left on motorcycles, heading for the other hospital.

About 7.30pm on Sunday they arrived at Muangsamut Poo Chao Hospital on Poo Chao Saming Phrai Road. Carrying lengths of wood and even floor mops, they forced their way into the emergency ward where the two injured men were being treated, attacked the men's friends and began destroying equipment and furniture.

A nurse in the hospital said they followed their rivals everywhere, even in an emergency room and fought against each other inside that room. Witnesses said the rampaging mob fled in all directions as police arrived at the scene.


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