Teen girls may face murder rap
Two teenage girls are suspected of being in the Sunday attack that killed a disabled man and may also face murder charges.
Police are questioning the two underage girls after finding out that they were at the crime scene and, according to eyewitnesses, incited their boyfriends to act violently in the brawl that ended up with Somkiat Sichan stabbed to death and one attacker seriously wounded.
The girls are understood to have incited the attack and will be facing penalties, acting city police chief Sanit Mahathaworn said Wednesday.
If it can be proved that they shouted "beat him to death", their act will be considered as serious and their wrongdoing can be assessed as "equal" to that of the six attackers, Pol Lt Gen Sanit said, citing a claim by a lawyer who was in the vicinity of the crime scene and heard such shouting.
Police have charged the six suspects, four identified as sons of police officers, with raiding a property, injuries causing death and collective murder.
A police source said three of the police officers hold the rank of police senior sergeant major while the other is a police lieutenant.
Two of the police senior sergeant majors work at Metropolitan Police Division 4 overseeing the Chokechai area where the brawl and murder took place.
One police senior sergeant major and the police lieutenant work at Chokechai police station.
One of the girls, whose name is being withheld, has been questioned by officers, and is understood to have a voice clip of the incident, Chokechai police chief Pol Col Chairop Chunnawat said.
The voice clip is a key piece of evidence and believed to have recorded what the girls shouted, though it has not yet been located by police.
Somkiat's elder sister Thanchanok also told Pol Lt Gen Sanit Wednesday as he visited her at her bread shop on Chokechai Si that one of the two girls also threatened to harm Somkiat's relatives after her boyfriend was wounded during the attack.
The shop is where the attack erupted on the morning of May 1. The violence erupted after the six male suspects made fun of Somkiat's job, according to an initial investigation.
The 36-year-old victim, who suffered from a leg disability, worked as a bread deliveryman for the shop.
Their conflict over a motorcycle incident is also believed to have fuelled the attack.
Ms Thanchanok was extremely concerned after learning that some of the attackers are the sons of police officers, but became more at ease after Pol Lt Gen Sanit took charge of the case himself and assured fairness to all sides.
The acting city police chief said on Monday that police investigators will stick to the facts and ensure justice no matter who the suspects' parents are.
The officers have so far interrogated 13 people while the male suspects have been temporarily detained at the Bangkok Remand Prison.
Two of the suspects are Akkaradet Thatsana, 22, and an 18-year-old boy while the rest, identified as Phiraphon and Arin Yotphonganan, aged 21 and 20 respectively, Mek Phonkraison, 19, and Monmanat Saengpho, 22, are believed to be the sons of the police officers.
Pol Lt Gen Sanit said he initially had the idea of having the police parents attend the news conference to answer any questions from reporters, but later changed his mind.
"I didn't want everyone turning this into a police-son issue," he said. "They [the officers] are already upset by their sons' actions."
Also Wednesday, Chokechai police escorted Mr Phiraphon, who was hurt in the fight, out of a hospital to report to the court, which earlier granted the police request to detain the male suspects until May 14.
Mr Phiraphon was allegedly "released" by a police officer called to the crime scene.