Man bites dog
“When a dog bites a man, that is not news, because it happens so often. But if a man bites a dog, that is news.” PATHUM THANI: The above quote, often attributed to 19th-century New York Sun editor John B Bogart, is the standard maxim given to young journalists to remind them what is newsworthy and what is not. It can’t have taken much of a leap of the imagination then for one lucky Kom Chad Luek hack to realize he was onto a winner with the story of Coke, a seven-year-old Thai Bangkaew dog who was recently involved in a tooth-and-nail scrap to defend his owner’s house. The story starts with 21-year-old Ubon Rachathani-native Winet Chertchai’s attempt to break into a house in broad daylight on May 8. Winet was met by the enraged house owner who saw him trying to break in and immediately called for help. Being a close-knit neighborhood, a group of householders immediately came to the woman’s assistance and Winet soon found himself fleeing down the soi pursued by a crowd of angry locals. Desperate for a place to hide, Winet tried to duck into a small grocery store. There he was greeted by shopowner and Flight Sergeant 1st Class Prasit Rungrateuk, who was brandishing his walking stick. Thinking better of it, Winet crossed the road and climbed the fence surrounding the house opposite, belonging to another ex-air force man, 66-year-old Pilot Officer (Plt Off) Prasit Janphasuk. Once in the yard, he was confronted by the fearlessly loyal Coke. For a few moments the two adversaries stood staring each other down; Coke baring his teeth and Winet wielding a knife. Coke then leapt forward at the intruder. Winet launched a kick into the canine’s head, but Coke deftly dodged it and crashed into Winet, knocking him to the ground. The two became locked in a pitched battle, Coke biting Winet all over his body and Winet desperately trying to kick Coke away. So fast and furious was the action that some members of the fast-growing crowd of onlookers later said it was difficult to separate crook from canine. After a while, the two warriors returned to growling and snarling at each other. Winet then decided to play Coke at his own game, sinking his own canines into the dog’s ear and locking on. After 20 minutes the fight showed no sign of finishing, with both contestants still going for the killer bite. It was drawn to a premature close, however, when Plt Off Prasit woke up from a nap and saw what was happening in his back yard. The old Air Force Officer called his dog to heel and the fight was over. Observers concluded that Winet came out the loser. Covered in cuts and bruises, he was taken to Bhumibol Hospital for treatment. Lt Col Thanaphat Nawalak, an Investigating Officer at Khukhot Police Station, said that Winet was quite badly hurt and had to be kept in hospital overnight. The owner of the first house that Winet tried to break in to did not want to press charges and Plt Off Prasit said that the wounds inflicted by Coke should be punishment enough for the young ne’er-do-well. Police disagreed however, and have charged Winet with armed trespass.
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