A pre-dawn operation by Bangkok police to arrest street-racers Monday almost ended in tragedy when a racer opened fire at a rescue pick-up truck that was aiding police, wounding a community-policing volunteer.
Metropolitan Police Bureau 3 deputy chief Pol Colonel Ek Ekkasart presented the suspect, Somkiat Mekloy, 23, along with two pen guns, 19 pieces of ammunition and a modified motorbike as evidence.
During the police operation at 2am to arrest the racers on Liab Waree Road in Nong Chok district, Somkiat opened fire at the rescue vehicle, hitting police volunteer Somchai Nima on the right shoulder and shattering one of the vehicle’s windows. Other racers used ping-pong bombs to evade pursuing police, but police managed to seize seven motorcycles at the scene.
Police later identified Somkiat as the shooter and arrested him along with the above-mentioned evidence. Somkiat reportedly confessed to firing a pen gun – which he said he bought for Bt1,200 as a self-defence weapon against rival racers – at a rival group, but the bullet hit the rescue car and wounded Somchai instead. He was initially facing a charge of attempted murder of an on-duty official, along with charges of illegal possession of gun, carrying a gun into a public place without permission, and illegal racing on a public road.