A pre-dawn operation by Bangkok police to arrest street-racers yesterday almost ended in tragedy when a racer opened fire at a rescue pick-up truck that was aiding police, wounding a community police volunteer.
Metropolitan Police Bureau 3 deputy chief Pol Colonel Ek Ekkasart presented suspect Somkiat Mekloy, 23, along with two pen guns, 19 pieces of ammunition and a modified motorbike as evidence.
During the 2am operation to arrest the racers on Liab Waree Road in Nong Chok, Somkiat opened fire at the rescue vehicle, hitting police volunteer Somchai Nima in the right shoulder and shattering one of the vehicle’s windows. Other racers used ping-pong bombs to evade police, but police still seized seven motorcycles.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 for self-defence 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.