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Police: Paddy wagon drove off after hitting protesters for safety

SENIOR police officers today (Sept.13) explained that a paddy wagon that hit some protesters at Din Daeng intersection late last night did not run away but drove off for safety which is why this is not a hit and run case, Thai Rath newspaper said.

In briefing reporters Pol. Lt. Gen. Phakphong Pongphetra, head of the Metropolitan Police Bureau, Pol. Maj. Gen. Piya Tawichai, deputy head of this bureau, and Pol. Col. Krisana Pattanacharoen, deputy spokesman of the Royal Thai Police, also said police had checked hospitals and no one had come in for treatment from this incident.

Pol. Lt. Gen. Phakphong said the paddy wagon had been told to come and park at the police headquarters. However at 11 p.m. after the protest at Din Daeng intersection seemed to have subsided, the policemen in charge drove the vehicle  to the Narcotics Suppression Bureau by going through this intersection and then onto Vibhavadi Rangsit road.

However while passing the intersection, barely a kilometre from the First Infantry Regiment barracks which houses Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s residence on Vibhavadi Rangsit road, the police van was chased by six to seven protesters who smashed the vehicle and there were sounds of explosion too. 

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The police driver drove off for safety and did try to stop to see what happened after hitting protesters but as a check showed no one has been hospitalised from this incident it cannot be categorised as a hit and run case.

The police driver then took the paddy wagon to Phramongkutklao Hospital and called in forensic police to come and check the vehicle and filed a complaint against the perpetrators.

Pol. Maj. Gen. Piya said in maintaining law and order at Din Daeng intersection where there have been protests every evening for days now police usually organise units to go in based on the situation. 

Yesterday there were arson attacks in many areas and nails were scattered on Vibhavadi Rangsit road and at Din Daeng intersection, including the entrance to the tunnel, with this causing a problem for motorists. Some protesters also haphazardly dashed past moving vehicles leading to motorists losing control of their vehicle, he said.

In July police were able to start legal proceedings in 204 cases related to demonstrations with 756 suspects charged and 511 arrested. They also seized improvised explosive devices and pipe bombs.


Top: Anti-Prayut protesters zipping around Din Daeng area.

Home Page:  Car tyres set on fire at Din Daeng intersection last night. Both photos: Thai Rath


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