Rape suspect and 'gunman' arrested in separate cases
Police yesterday arrested a Thai man suspected of being one of three who raped, assaulted and robbed two Russian women at a reservoir in Bang Lamung in Chon Buri late on December 26.
After a morning raid on a Bang Lamung house to seize a pickup suspected of being used in the attack and interrogation of a woman who owned the truck, police brought in the two victims, who then identified the vehicle as the one used by their attackers. Police later arrested a man named Wichian Jaija, the truck owner's husband, at his mistress' house in Chachoengsao's Bang Pakong district.
The arrest reportedly came after police investigators were given information by some locals that Wichien and two others had robbed the Russian women and Wichen, together with an accomplice, allegedly raped the women while the third man acted as a lookout. The other two suspects were made to undergo a drug test and interrogation but neither had been charged at press time.
Meanwhile, a Thai man was arrested yesterday after an alleged brawl and fatal shooting at 5am on Pha-ngan - a popular tourist island in the South - on New Year's morning. British tourist Steven David Ashton, 23, died after being shot by a "stray bullet" in a bar on Koh Pha-ngan.
Surat Thani police chief Kiattipong Khaosam-ang said two teenage gangs had a brawl and a bullet from a subsequent shooting "strayed" and killed Ashton, who was partying with two female friends at Zoom Bar on Rin Beach.
At 9am, police nabbed suspect Ekkapan Kaewkla, 26, who was alleged to have confessed to the crime and was thus charged with murder. Police contacted the British Embassy to locate the tourist's family, while an autopsy was performed on the body by Provincial Police Region 8, he said.
Police would contact the Rights and Liberties Protection Department to seek Bt100,000 in compensation for the family of the slain man. He said this case was closed because the shooter was arrested and had confessed to the crime.