A local Thai man took a bus conductor and a passenger hostage in a public bus in Bangkok on Sunday night, August 22nd, reportedly due to unemployment and personal problems.
He eventually surrendered to the Lad Prao police hours later after being successfully convinced by his mother during the early hours of Monday morning, August 23rd.
The Bangkok police rushed to the scene on Happy Land 1 Road in Bang Kapi district after being alerted of the hostage situation at around 9:30 PM. A teenage gunman was found at a parked bus on the side of the road with two hostages.
Speaking after, a bus conductor stated that the man hopped on the bus from Victory Monument and refused to get off when the bus arrived at the terminal station in Happy Land. He suddenly took out his 11mm handgun and commanded the bus driver to drive back and drop him off at Victory Monument.
The bus driver, who wasn’t named, then told the gunman that he had to get off the vehicle to have his timesheet signed at the bus stop and would be right back. He managed to quickly flee the scene, leaving the conductor and the passenger on the bus. This garnered mixed reactions on social media from “netizens” with some stating the driver should have stayed and not abandoned a passenger and the conductor.
“He told me to shut the door. He also slapped me on the head with the gun. The passenger and I were in a panic and couldn’t do anything. While the man was on the bus, he was also mumbling something about the police, how he disliked the police, and so on,” the bus conductor, whose name was withheld, added.
The Bangkok police arrived and surrounded the bus at around 11:00 PM. The man then got off the bus and promptly sat down on the footpath in a stressed condition while still carrying his weapon. Police kept their distance as the man appeared to be unstable.
Officers decided to contact his mother and took her to the scene at 1:55 A.M. to convince her son to turn himself in as he did not show any signs of calming down. The mother constantly called his nickname and told him that she would slowly approach him.
He eventually complied and surrendered shortly after that. No injuries were reported during the incident.
As of 2:30 AM, the initial investigation exposed that the gunman was identified as Peeranat Saengchan, 24, and was a temporary employee but was now unemployed due to Covid-19 related restrictions and measures and was facing several financial problems.
The investigation also revealed that he previously used the same 11mm caliber to rob a convenience store in Bang Sue district on July 7th and stole about 8,000 Baht, according to the officials.
Peeranat remains in police custody as of press time. According to Bangkok police, he will face multiple charges relating to the incident.
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