Thai man high on Yaba mistakenly fears Burmese army invasion, kidnaps son

Photo via Facebook/ สำนักงานประชาสัมพันธ์จังหวัดชุมพร

A Thai man reportedly under the influence of Yaba (methamphetamine) confessed to police that he had rushed to pick up his son from a school in the southern province of Chumphon due to a false belief that a Burmese army had invaded Thailand.

The man, identified as 29 year old Jirapong Janthong, had taken a rifle with him into Phubodin Pittayalai School, sparking a hostage situation yesterday.

Around 7.45am, Jirapong entered the school premises and searched for his eight year old son. Just ten minutes later, he left the school with his son in his Mitsubishi Pajero SUV, causing a frantic search effort by officers from Lang Suan Police Station. After more than five hours, the pair arrived home, which was approximately 2 kilometres away from the police station.

Jirapong’s older brother and mother arrived at the house to negotiate with him, urging him to release the boy and surrender the weapon. His brother managed to calm Jirapong during a ten-minute conversation, eventually persuading him to relinquish the rifle, which was subsequently handed over to the police. Officers apprehended Jirapong and safely retrieved his son.

Upon being questioned at the police station, Jirapong disclosed that he believed a Burmese army was advancing into Thailand and had even heard the roar of fighter planes. Concerned for his son’s safety, he hurriedly went to the school to protect him, stating that he had been driving to evade the fighter planes rather than the officers.

During the inquiry, Jirapong admitted to consuming two tablets of Yaba (methamphetamine) on Sunday but claimed to have abstained from further use since then. Although a drug test was conducted yesterday, the results have not yet been disclosed.

Initially, Jirapong was charged with illegally carrying weapons in public places without permission or a valid reason. Further charges are expected to be filed as additional evidence is gathered by the authorities.

According to the police report, Jirapong is a wealthy durian farmer who owns nearly four acres of durian plantation and resides in a large luxury house. Approximately a year ago, he divorced his wife and has since lived alone, while his son resided with his grandmother in another area about 10 kilometres away.

It is worth noting that Jirapong has a previous criminal record related to drug and Yaba offences. In a prior legal proceeding, he was convicted of drug distribution, resulting in a prison sentence of three years and eight months.


ORIGINAL STORY: BREAKING: Man takes his child hostage at school in southern Thailand

A Thai man has reportedly taken his child hostage at Phubodin Pittayalai School in the Lang Suan district of Chumphon province in the southern part of Thailand.

ThaiRath reported that a Thai man entered a school with a rifle at around 7am today, looking for his child. Once he found his child, both left the school together. Officers from Lang Suan Police Station arrived at the scene and tried to persuade the man to surrender and release the child.

Nawit Chinaburarat, the school’s director, affirmed that all students are safe, as teachers strictly followed security protocols to protect all of them. Nawit revealed that the man had threatened a teacher with his rifle when he could not find his child but seemed to relax once his child appeared and agreed to leave with him. Nawit speculated that the incident might have resulted from some misunderstandings.

Nawit added that ten minutes after the incident occurred, officers successfully pressured the man to leave the school. As per the report, the officers tried to arrange a meeting with the perpetrator at a nearby location outside the school, however, the man left the school with his child with his destination as yet unreported.

The latest update states that the man drove his Mitsubishi Pajero SUV out of the school, but the destination is still unclear. The officers visited the house of a relative, but he was not there.

The man’s identity and motive have not yet been revealed, and further information will be disclosed later.

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Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger focusing on Thai news and what's happening in Thailand. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp.