NAKHON SRI THAMMARAT: A group of irate villagers in Nakhon Sri Thammarat Municipality launched a vigilante squad July 31 to try to track down an inhalant-addicted rapist from whom not even dogs, pigs and banana trees were safe.
A meeting was held at 1:30 pm that day at the house of Phairot Mathayawut, head of the local Volunteer Crime News Reporting Squad and ex-chairman of the Ton Wah community group, to discuss what to do about a young local man known as Aek, 20, who had been terrorizing local women, livestock and fruit trees.
K. Phairot said that villagers in Ton Wah and nearby communities were so afraid of Aek that few women dared to leave the safety of their homes after nightfall and parents kept their children locked indoors.
Female market vendors were losing money because they were too afraid to venture out to the local market during the early morning hours, he said.
“Aek is addicted to inhalants and is very secretive, never associating with anyone. He has a sword as long as a man’s forearm and a two-meter-long metal pole as his personal weapons. These he carries with him at all times,” explained K. Phairot.
“As for his style of attack, apart from grabbing women when they are outside their homes, he also watches out for when women are home alone. When he finds one, he climbs onto the roof and removes tiles until he can jump down into the house,” he added.
Aek’s latest outrage was the knife-point rape in July of a young mother who had recently given birth. Despite knowing Aek’s identity, police had been unable to find him.
At the meeting, the villagers decided they had waited long enough for police action and took matters into their own hands by sending out a group of local tough guys to hunt for Aek.
When the vigilantes arrived at Aek’s house, they found he was not home. From there they went to a shack in the nearby forest where Aek was known to hide out, but again found no trace of of him.
Villagers said that in addition to raping women, Aek had also forced himself on villagers’ dogs, pigs and banana trees. Around his house, more than 10 trees were found to have small holes cut in them at about waist height that Aek allegedly used to pleasure himself.
Nakhon Sri Thammarat Provincial Police Commander Pol Maj Gen Sutjai Yannarat said that he had received a report of the incidents.
A subsequent investigation of Aek’s background revealed that he was so heavily addicted to inhalants that he had become mentally unstable and posed a great danger to society. He has ordered Nakhon Sri Thammarat Police to track him down as quickly as possible, he added.
“The court has issued an arrest warrant for Aek, but we still have been unable to catch him. I have assigned Lt Col Chokdee Srimuang, deputy inspector of investigations at Nakhon Sri Thammarat Provincial Police, to work with Muang District Special Task Force to hunt him down.
“Two days ago they almost caught him, but he fought so hard that he lost all his clothes and managed to escape wearing only his underpants,” Gen Sutjai said on July 31.
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