A 24-year-old Thai man took control of a bus in Bangkok last night by threatening the bus driver and a passenger with a gun
The hostage-taker surrendered yesterday morning after a confrontation that lasted hours to talk to Lat Phrao police. Negotiations reportedly gained momentum when the man’s mother persuaded him to surrender.
Police received a report at 9:30 p.m. Sunday evening that 24-year-old Pheeranat Saengchan was holding the driver and a passenger of the No. 8 public bus hostage while on Happy Land 1 Road in Bangkok.
Police rushed to the scene, where they found bus number 8 on the right side of the road. Three people were seen on the bus.
The 30-year-old bus driver and passenger Nuanphan Muangjeeb said the gunman got on the bus at the Victory Monument but refused to get off the bus when the bus arrived at its terminus on Happy Land Road.
Nuanphan says that at this point in the drive, the hostage-taker pulled out a gun and instructed the driver to return to the Victory Monument so he could be dropped off there.
Police had surrounded the bus until 11 p.m. At this point, the hostage-taker disembarked and crouched on the sidewalk, still gun in hand, refusing to surrender.
Several hours later, at 1:55 AM, the police found Pheeranat’s mother and took her to the crime scene. She managed to persuade her son to surrender.
“A preliminary investigation revealed that he robbed a supermarket in Bang Sue on July 7 with the same 11mm pistol and escaped with 8,000 baht in the pocket,” police said.
Police add that they are investigating whether the man ever attended the anti-government rallies at the Victory Monument.
The man’s identity was released at 2:30 p.m. Thai media report that Pheeranat is in financial difficulties and used to work as a temp, but is now unemployed.
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