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Phuket police officer who shot noodle vendor denied bail.

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: CCTV captures a drunken Phuket Police officer shooting a noodle vendor on Bangla Road twice. This shot missed his victim. (via YouTube)

A Phuket Provincial Police officer was denied bail today after drunkenly shooting a noodle vendor on Patong’s Bangla Road while off-duty. Pornthep Channarong, the officer involved in the incident, was off-duty and said to be out drinking all night before shooting Aroon Thongplab in the stomach in the early hours of February 23. The Phuket Provincial Court made the decision yesterday to deny bail to the police officer.

CCTV footage showed the officer denied entrance to Illuzion Nightclub for carrying a weapon as he drunkenly waved his gun around. Footage then captured the unprovoked attack showing the vendor, who had just picked up a customer’s finished bowl, being shot in the stomach and then taunted and kicked by the intoxicated officer, who fired a second shot at point-blank range but missed.

The shooting paralysed the noodle vendor when the bullet hit his spine, leaving the family struggling to get by after the Royal Thai Police paid only 20,000 baht in compensation to the victim. The vendor’s wife was in attendance for the court’s decision and is said to be satisfied with the ruling.

The court cited the severity of the likely penalty for the crime committed, making the police officer a flight risk, should he be allowed to pay bail and be released. They worried that the defendant could tamper with evidence or witnesses if set free, aside from the possibility of him fleeing or hiding. He has been charged with attempted murder, firing a weapon in a public area, and carrying a firearm in a public area without necessary reason.

The police officer’s excuses for needing the bail were deemed insufficient by the court. He said he wanted to be freed so he could help in fundraising to provide financial assistance to his victim’s family. He also said that he had guns and equipment hidden in his house that his family couldn’t find but he wants to retrieve and surrender to the Royal Thai Police, as he has been stripped of his rank and fired from the police force.

The court was not moved by the request and denied the police officer bail, observing that he had already confessed and will be sentenced to jail time, so there was no need to be released before then. A trial will begin on June 28 where his confession will be reviewed along with witness testimony before a verdict is announced.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

 

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Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10 years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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