A taxi driver fearing for his safety used an SOS hand gesture he learned from the social media platform TikTok to signal police for help after seeing his passenger was apparently armed and under the influence of drugs.
The incident occurred after Tanongsak Liangsa, 49, was hailed by a 23-year-old man in the Mor Chit area, asking to drop him off in the Phetkasem area.
However, the man seemed unable to make up his mind, changing his preferred destination several times, to Suan Phung district in Ratchaburi and then Pluak Daeng district in Rayong.
Mr Tanongsak told reporters the passenger first told him he was a police officer before claiming he had run away from home.
The driver said he then saw the passenger handling crystal ice in the car. Upon reaching Road No 36 near Ban Chang in Rayong, the man suddenly brandished a gun and playfully handcuffed himself.
In fear, Mr Tanongsak kept driving as ordered before he tricked the passenger by saying he needed to go to the toilet at a petrol station.
It was then Mr Tanongsak set his GPS to Ban Bueng police station in Chon Buri. Upon arriving, he made the hand gesture picked up from TikTok.
In response, police officers rushed to the vehicle, rescued him and arrested the man.
Police seized a BB gun, pocket knife, set of handcuffs, four mobile phones, flashlight, wristwatch and two leather bags from the man. A urine test later revealed traces of narcotics.
Mr Tanongsak said police gave him 300 baht to cover his fuel costs.
Taxi driver Tanongsak Liangsa, 49, shows a hand gesture that he learned from TikTok to signal police. TV Screen Capture