A reportedly mentally ill man drowned an 11-year-old child in a Pattaya reservoir yesterday, March 26th.
Sawang Boriboon rescuers and police rushed to the Huai Chak Nok Reservoir in Pattaya to rescue a drowning child around 3:30 PM. Many onlookers including the child’s friends were present at the incident site.
The friends pointed at the water where they had last seen their 11-year-old friend struggling for air before submerging. The rescuers immediately dived into the spot and rescued the drowning child in under 30 minutes. However, the child had tragically passed away from drowning.
Pattaya Police interviewed with the friends of the deceased child about the incident. They tearfully recounted that they encountered a Thai man wearing a green shirt and yellow shorts, who appeared to be mentally unstable based on the way he carried himself. He was playing in the water alone in his clothes when they met him.
The kids, none of whom could swim, said they approached him and asked if the water was deep. The man did not respond, but instead, he walked over and picked up the victim and carried him into the water, about 10 meters from the bank. Then, the man suddenly released the victim in the deep water, causing him to struggle, sink, and disappear, according to the children’s statements.
The kids went on to say that before their friend sank, he frantically cried for help. However, the man just watched and then walked away from the water as if nothing had happened. He then got on his push bike and rode away, looking indifferent.
The friends of the drowning kid later ran to the village to ask for help. Pattaya Police, after interviewing the kids, quickly identified the suspect and arrested him. The man, 28-year-old Atthaphon Thipkomol, was seen riding his bicycle from the reservoir. Police said he has a mental illness similar to autism. The man initially denied any involvement in the incident, but the victim’s friends, came forward to confirm that he was the perpetrator.
The situation became chaotic when the deceased kid’s relatives and family attempted to attack Atthaphon, so police had to quickly take him into custody at the police station for his own safety.
The suspect’s grandmother, Mrs. Somboon Bunjan, 68, visited the station and told police that her grandson is usually not violent and that he might have only wanted to play with the kids, but something went wrong. He had been in and out of psychiatric hospitals and care previously.
The suspect is charged with recklessness causing death. He is being intensely interrogated and under examination of medical officials to access his mental condition.
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