Thai monk charged with attempted murder after leaving policeman in need of urgent brain surgery

Images via สันติภาพ ออนไลน์

A Thai policeman underwent urgent brain surgery after being attacked by a Buddhist monk at a temple in Phitsanulok province in northern Thailand on Wednesday. Police have charged the monk with attempted murder.

At 2.30pm, officers of Matum Patrol Police Force were informed that a monk was displaying manic behaviour, harassing people and destroying property at Wat Tha Chang temple and adjoining school in Wat Tha Chang subdistrict, Phrom Phiram district, Phitsanulok province.

Pol. Lt. Suthin Klomhom and Pol. Sub-Lt. Adisak Waikhuan drove to the scene on a motorbike, driven by Pol. Lt. Suthin.

The officers found a Buddhist monk, Khwanchai Krasaethet, standing in between the school and temple holding a piece of rubberwood – about five centimetres wide by 1.28 metres long – in his right hand.

The monk ran at the police, raised the rubberwood in the air and hit Pol. Lt. Suthin on the head, causing the motorbike and police officers to fall to the ground.

Then, the monk chased Pol. Sub-Lt. Adisak but couldn’t catch up with him, so he returned to Pol. Lt. Suthin and hit him several times on the head with the rubberwood.

Pol. Lt. Suthin collapsed and lost consciousness. The monk continued beating him with the rubberwood until a teacher from Wat Tha Chang school ran over and snatched the rubberwood from the violent monk.

Pol. Lt. Suthin was rushed to the hospital where he underwent urgent brain surgery. His current condition is not known.

Pol. Sub-Lt. Adisak called in for reinforcement. Police arrested monk Khwanchai under suspicion of, “attempted murder of an officer on duty and damage to property.”

Before the attack on the police officer, the monk chased assistant village chief Samart Thinthap around the area with an iron road.

A lay Buddhist, 43 year old Biew, told reporters that Kwanchai has been ordained as a monk at the temple for five years.

The monk underwent a medical examination but no traces of drugs were detected in his body.

Phra Kwanchai has never acted this way before, said Biew. He was stressed after being reprimanded by the abbot, he added.

Villagers told police that sometimes they saw Phra Kwanchai sniffing white naphthalene balls commonly used as air fresheners in bathrooms in Thailand.

Director of Wat Chang School Samut Yasud said that the monk was in a state of mania since around midday, so he informed the village chief. After the monk became more aggressive, Samut felt the students were at risk so he called the police.

When the monk was violently beating the policeman, teachers locked all of the children inside the classrooms. Once reinforcement arrived they were able to get the monk under control.

The monk confessed to the charges.

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Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.