34-year-old man arrested after drug-induced rampage at Suvarnabhumi airport

PHOTO: Posttoday

National —

A man allegedly under the influence of illegal substances invaded Suvarnabhumi International Airport’s runway area yesterday, May 3rd wielding an ax and a fake gun. The suspect could face the death penalty. 

Around noon, yesterday, a passenger at Suvarnabhumi International Airport, Nong Prue sub-district, Bang Phli district, Samut Prakan, captured a video of a man wielding an ax on a runway while attempting to flee security officers and police from the Suvarnabhumi Police Station. The man then tried to climb an airport jetbridge but he was eventually taken down. The video went viral on social media.

PHOTO: Posttoday

According to Bangkok police, the man, later identified as Watchara Khambut, 34, was cut from shattered glass while fighting with the officers, who were also hurt. Police seized a fake gun, a 50-centimeter long ax, scissors, and one amphetamine pill inside a gold box. Watchara was reportedly still under the influence of drugs and unable to speak, so he was detained for further interrogation, which took place this morning.    

PHOTO: Posttoday

Kittipong Kittikachorn, director of Suvarnabhumi airport, revealed to the associated press that the man arrived on a motorcycle and pointed a gun at an officer who was about to drive into the control post 3 (the most restricted area). He then followed behind the officer’s car into the area. However, the arrest took only 9 minutes, the director said. He also affirmed that the airport’s security system was not lax, and that they always had an effective contingency plan in place to deal with a similar situation like this. Nonetheless, the director promised to summon the security department for a revision.

After questioning the suspect today, May 4th, who had come down from intoxication, Pol. Lt.Col. Paisan Weerakitpanich revealed that Watchara worked in a warehouse in the Bang Sao Thong district. He was on his way to his rental room after finishing work when he had a hallucination of someone telling him to rob the plane, which consequently led to this frightening incident.  He had reportedly taken methamphetamine after finishing work on his way home.

Initially, Wachara faced six charges: 1. Offenses against air navigation 2. Carrying weapons in public 3. Causing fear to others 4. Driving under the influence of drugs 5. Mischief 6. Resisting an officer’s arrest. The first charge was punishable by the death penalty or 15-20 years in prison and a fine of 600,000-800,000 baht. 

Watchara remained in custody as of press time.


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Tanakorn Panyadee
The Latest Local News Translator at The Pattaya News. Aim is a twenty-two year old who currently lives and studies in his last year of college in Bangkok. Interested in English translation, story-telling, and entrepreneurship, he believes that hard-working is an indispensable component of every success in this world.