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Sunday 31 March 2024

Backhoe rivalry, robbing granny, thief caught on job

He’s all thumbs

Ekkachai Bunthong

An uncle in Si Sa Ket flared up when his nephew taunted him about his lack of ability managing a backhoe and slaughtered him with a machete.

Phrai police nabbed Somporn Chanmun, 54, for the grisly murder of his nephew, Ekkachai Bunthong, 30, in Khun Han district last week.

The young man’s body was found in the field where the pair worked, the back of his head smashed in. Police also found a long slash wound on his back, and the five fingers from his left hand severed.

The pair worked together tilling fields, and were having a few drinks when Ekkachai taunted his uncle about his lack of prowess with a backhoe.

The pair hire out their services turning over and filling soil to local farmers. While Mr Somporn drives a dump truck, his nephew, who no doubt thought he was doing the more skilled work, would drive the backhoe.

Somporn Chanmun
A hut sits nearby but the two would often sleep out in the field to guard their machines. On the day of the attack, their employer had just paid their wages and Mr Somporn shouted a few drinks.

He complained to relatives later that Ekkachai teased him about his lack of ability with the truck.

“You drive the backhoe like a novice, and can barely fix your own truck,” he teased, not once but many times, Mr Somporn said.

Tiring of the teasing, Mr Somporn put his hand over the young man’s mouth to shut him up, but Ekkachai struggled and fell off his seat.

“Uncle, why did you have to do that?” he asked angrily.

According to Mr Somporn, his nephew then grabbed a beer bottle, smashed it to create a jagged edge, and whacked him in the forehead with it. The injury was to need seven stitches.

Now it was Mr Somporn’s time to fly into a rage. He fetched a machete from the hut and slashed his nephew about the body and the head with it.

When Ekkachai held his wounded head in his hands, the next blow with the machete took off his fingers. Mr Somporn kept hitting him until he lay still, before heading into the village to tell relatives what he had done.

He did not flee but waited for police to arrive and later offered an apology to the victim’s family through the media.

Noi, 33, a friend of the victim’s, said she and another friend went to see Ekkachai in the field about 7pm.

“He said he had been in a fight with his uncle and had a bloody arm. He asked me to help him wash it off but I am scared of blood so had him do it himself. The next we heard, at 5am, he was dead,” she said.

Ekkachai was a friendly guy devoted to his friends and did not deserve to die such a horrible death. “If his uncle had a problem with him, why not go to the police?” she said.

Siang Bunthong, 65, the victim’s father, said Ekkachai was the youngest of his three children. He was not aware of any problems between the pair, who worked together every day.

Police charged Mr Sompong with premeditated murder.

Even granny’s a target
Kiat Sawasdee, in tears.
Police in Buri Ram are looking for two ruthless young women who posed as good samaritans but robbed a grandmother of her valuables before abandoning her 50km from town.

Nang Rong police say the pair, driving a five-door Toyota sedan, robbed Kiat Sawasdee, 72, of a gold necklace, gold ring, cash, and phone, together worth about 200,000 baht.

After taking her belongings, they kicked her unceremoniously from their car about 50km from Muang district.

They left her in a remote spot by a waterway before heading off at great speed. A local who saw the car race off went to Ms Kiat’s aid after hearing her cries for help.

The saga started earlier that day when the pair saw the grandmother sitting by a bus stop outside her village and offered to give her a lift into town. Fatefully, Ms Kiat accepted.

Ms Kiat was heading into Muang district to sell a gold ring worth 50 satang in gold weight to help her granddaughter in Bangkok, who had fallen on hard times and could no longer feed herself.

Without telling her own husband, Ms Kiat decided to take a bus into town to sell the ring and sent the proceeds to her granddaughter.

On the journey into town with the women, she said she was careful not to display her gold necklace, nor tell them that she was going in to sell a ring.

“I told them I was going to buy some silk to weave into clothes, and immediately they asked if I could buy 10 pieces for them too. They offered to pay 3,000 baht up front,” she said.

Ms Kiat demurred, and the women dropped her off at her destination. They were heading off to pay respects to a local deity, she said.

However, after Ms Kiat had sold the ring, raising 14,100 baht, the pair miraculously re-appeared, and offered to take her back home. Police believe they targeted her from the outset and were waiting for her to finish her transaction at the jeweller’s before making their next move.

“On the way back they said they were going to inspect some land in Ban Bua sub-district, which they were about to buy. I told them I owned land in that area myself and wanted to sell it for 2 million baht,” Ms Kiat told police.

“They said in that case, let’s go and have a look at your land first. They drove around various spots, but I knew they had taken me off the route I needed to get home,” she added.

Ms Kiat said one of the women sat next to her, “locked” her arm and forced her to hand over her valuables. When she struggled the pair brought out a gun and threatened her, she said.

After robbing her they dumped her by the side of the road. “I want the police to track them down, as my granddaughter still has nothing to eat, and I have nothing left I can offer,” she said. Police were looking for the pair.

He wishes he’d kept it now
Metanee Phutthaso, shot in his left arm.
A burglar with an attack of the guilts decided to return a stolen item to the house in Chon Buri from which he had taken it earlier.

However, he came upon the angry homeowner, a navy sharp-shooter who decided to put his skills to the test.

Sattahip police nabbed Metanee Phutthaso, 44, wearing a ski mask and with a bullet wound to his left arm.

He was lying inside a two-storey home owned by Capt Patsmith Nimruang, 51, a graduate of the Royal Thai Naval Academy (Naval Air Wing), according to an internet bio.

More importantly for this saga, he is also a navy sharp-shooter who had grown fed up with recent burglaries of his home — seven over the last month.

Capt Patsmith, who is seldom home, said he decided to sleep over on the night of the latest break-in. He was resting when he woke to hear the sound of someone prying open a window.

The burglars entered from the side of the house, which adjoins a forest. “I found two burglars inside. I shouted but one of them reached into his bag as if to pull out a weapon. I was worried about my safety and wanted to deter the burglary, so fired at him,” he told police.

Patsmith Nimruang
Capt Patsmith pulled out his SIG Sauer P320 and shot the intruder in the left arm. The bullet passed through the victim and lodged in a wall.

 “When the sound of the gun subsided, the burglar who had accompanied Mr Metanee fled into the forest, leaving him to it,” media reports said.

Mr Metanee’s bag was found stuffed with amulets, one of which he had stolen from the house earlier and was trying to return, he told police.

“He was worried that something bad might happen to him if he did not return the religious icon, so snuck back to the house to replace it,” news reports said. “However, he met Capt Patsmith first.”

Police, still mulling charges, are also looking for the burglar who fled.

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