CHON BURI: A prisoner who escaped from the surgical ward of Bang Lamung Hospital after undergoing surgery for a penis infection on Saturday has been recaptured, the Department of Corrections announced on Sunday.
Thanaphat Mayod, 37, was found on Sunday at about 7am by corrections officials while hiding on the rooftop of a one-storey building of the psychiatry ward, only about 20 metres away from the surgical ward.
Thanaphat, who is serving time at Pattaya Remand Prison after being convicted in a theft case, was admitted to Bang Lamung Hospital on Dec 6 after suffering a severe infection from injections to enlarge his penis.
After a surgical procedure, he was put in a room for patients on the 7th floor of the surgical ward for recovery.
Thanaphat cut off the chains around his ankles with a pair of pliers and escaped from the room at about 2am on Saturday. His disappearance prompted a search.
Prison officials searched the area around the hospital on Saturday, but were not successful. They then scoured all buildings inside the hospital compound, believing he was unable to go far with a urine tube still inserted in his penis. They finally found him crouching on the rooftop of the nearby building.
The man still had one year and 10 months left to serve for the theft conviction.
Thanaphat was later brought to the hospital for a re-enactment of the crime and then to Bang Lamung police station where he was charged with escaping while in detention – a crime that carries a jail term of up to three years and/or a fine of up to 60,000 baht.
He told police that after breaking loose from the hospital he ran into the forest behind the premises and threw the pliers he used to cut the chains into the bushes. The pliers had been given to him earlier by his wife.
Thanaphat then walked along the wall and climbed up a power post to the rooftop of the building of the psychiatry ward. There, he crouched in a corner and covered himself with a black bag. He stayed on the rooftop for about 28 hours before being found.
His wife, who provided her husband with the pliers, was detained. Identified only as Wassana, 30, she was charged with helping a detainee to escape in violation of Section 191 of the Criminal Code. The crime carries a jail term of up to five years and a fine of up to 500,000 baht.
Bang Lamung police took her to Pattaya Court to seek permission to detain her further for investigation.