Soldier charged in restaurant attack

Khrua Yira restaurant on Ratchaphruek Road in Taling Chan district, Bangkok, the scene of the overnight incident involving soldiers. (Photo taken from Khrua Yira Ratchapruek Facebook page)
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A soldier has turned himself in to police to face charges in connection with a restaurant shooting in Bangkok’s Taling Chan district late on Wednesday night.

Pvt Saharat Hiran, 29, a military police officer attached to the Royal Thai Armed Forces’ Development Command, was escorted by staff from the Office of the Judge-Advocate to the Bang Sao Thong police station on Thursday night.

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He was allegedly among five people involved in an attack on a group of four customers at Krua Yira restaurant. The men were seriously injured, and were identified as Phuthanet Choeycha, 33, Pinij Poonsamran, 50, Chaimongkol Sungsook, 49, and Anut Thongbai,40.

The suspect was accused of firing shots at the restaurant, on Ratchaphruek Road, Taling Chan, around midnight on Wednesday. His friend was identified as Ponlasit Insrithong, 28, who was accused of attacking others with a stun gun.

Mr Ponlasit, who was treated for a leg wound at Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) General Hospital after being shot by a stray bullet, was being detained at the hospital.

Based on an initial investigation, the injured people were among five who got up and danced on the stage. After they returned to the table, five men who sat near the stage — some wearing military-like clothing — walked over to them.

One of them carried an electric stun gun and zapped one of the four men in the eye before attacking the other members of the group. Another pulled out pistols and opened fire. After the attack, the attackers fled on a motorcycle and in a car.

Pol Maj Gen Suthi Nankanthi, deputy commissioner of Metropolitan Police Bureau, said Pvt Saharat admitted to opening fire at the restaurant, claiming he was drunk.

He was charged with attempted murder, collaborating to harming others, and carrying and firing firearms in public, the deputy commissioner said, adding that the suspect also handed over the weapon to police.

-Bangkok Post

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