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Police reenact the killing with Pittaya Srijitraporn at Chalong today

Phuket Expat Killing: Sea Eagles Man Charged

Friday, January 29, 2010
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A 32-YEAR-OLD man, well known by tourists for his work seeking photographs with sea eagles at Kata Viewpoint on Phuket, has confessed to knifing a German expat in an incident of road rage.

The man, Pittaya Srijitraporn, said he worked with tourists and did not expect that his actions would cause the man to die.

Khun Pittaya was presented to the media at Chalong Police Station today and answered questions about the killing.

He said that as he approached Chalong Circle about 7pm on Wednesday night, with two youths as passengers on his pink Fino motorcycle, a car driver sounded his horn when the motorcycle passed.

At the circle, while both the motorcycle and the car waited alongside each other for other vehicles to pass, the car horn continued to sound. The driver of the vehicle swore at him through the open window.

Khun Pittaya said both the motorcycle and the car turned around the circle from Chao Fa Road West into Viset Road, bound for Rawai.

The tooting continued from the car, until Khun Pittaya pulled his motorcycle in front of the car, forcing the vehicle to stop outside a 7-Eleven store.

The man had been drinking, Khun Pittaya said, and swore ''F---- you'' in English. Khun Pittaya said he hit the man in the mouth.

The man tried to hit him back, Khun Pittaya said. The man got him in a headlock, so he pulled a knife from his pocket and stabbed the man twice in the ribs.

When the man fell, he kicked him in the mouth, Khun Pittaya said.

Khun Pittaya said he acted alone and the youths, his nephews, had not been involved.

He has been charged with the murder of Wolf-Dieter Eugen Kesselheim, 66.
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Comments

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Why do you use Khun? Is this not a term of respect?

RIP Mr Kesselheim

Editor: He hasn't yet been convicted and even a confession is not always proof of guilt.

Posted by Bobby Brown on January 29, 2010 16:00

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So he didn't expect someone to die by stabbing? What was he doing carrying a concealed weapon? Is this legal? Maybe it's about time that the foreign community staged a mass meeting - let's close the airport of cut of the Bridge - why not? Thais do it and it's an acceptable act. It's about time that the gander got what the goose has.

Editor: Noddy, this appears to have been a crime triggered by road rage. The vast majority of people, expat and Thai, would be equally horrified at the outcome. Nobody is suggesting that the national identity of those involved had anything to do with it. What you are proposing is to break the law because others break it. That kind of logic does not deserve support.

Posted by Noddy on January 29, 2010 17:29

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Editor: Jens, this man's death was a tragedy. To reinforce hurtful and hateful stereotyping and widen divisions without justification is morally repugnant and something Phuketwan won't permit. Why not try to be constructive? That point also applies to the comments by ''g'' and ''Mr Sober.'' Their messages won't be appearing.

Posted by Jens on January 29, 2010 19:05

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Constructive? My A**! I've known these ******** types for the last 20 years, and it's always been bad, what do u know about that, huh

Editor: I think you've been stereotyping everyone around you for at least 20 years.

Posted by Jens on January 29, 2010 21:26

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Full credit to the Police for making an arrest so quickly.

@Bobby Brown
Khun can mean...you, sir or mister

Editor: And Madam, or Miss . . .

Posted by Antz Pantz on January 29, 2010 22:12

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SET THE BIRDS FREE!

Posted by VFaye on January 29, 2010 22:36

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I find myself worried about the eagles, will they be cared for, or let go - can they survive? I always hated seeing this guy exploiting them... I have one neighbor who keeps eagles in tiny little cages, horrid. He also has monkeys kept in squalor.

Posted by House Doctor on January 30, 2010 08:02

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Unfortunately this will happen more and more in Phuket. As much as the editor does not like to admit it, there is an underlying resentment of expats living here by a portion of the indigenous population and this is by no means an isolated incident.

Phuket makes its money from expats so steps should be taken to ensure their safety when on the island. The monthly crime statistics listing the violent crimes would be a certain tourist-dwindler if they were published internationally and this murder or manslaughter, whichever it may be, only highlights major issues that need to be resolved quickly.

Editor: It's hard to blame ''underlying resentment'' for a random event such as this one. It wasn't a premeditated killing. My understanding is that carrying knives is of great concern in many places, including Britain, and that unexpected and violent crimes of this kind can happen just about anywhere. Whether they be residents or visitors, expats certainly need to exercise the same care and consideration on Phuket as they would anywhere else. The vast majority of visitors, though, come and go without experiencing problems. The safety of all residents and visitors is equally important. To infer that the safety of tourists is somehow more important is wrong.

Posted by Jimmy on January 30, 2010 09:13

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Horse Doctor, perhaps you can contact Wild Life Friends of Thailand. They make trips to Phuket and are very active and have a sanctuary. I met the founder, was impressed. And he said he rescued some gibbons here in Phuket a while back, got the back up of local authorities.

Gotta wonder if the eagles were cared for now. Perhaps his innocent nephews can take over the family business.

Posted by vfaye on January 30, 2010 10:04

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Editor - I agree with what you are saying BUT what's good for the goose should be good for the gander. It's a two tier system here - them and us - and that is undeniable. The national identity here appears to have the view that if it happens to a foreigner it's no big deal. Of course, arrest an Iman for encroaching and the village is closing down the roads and nobody does a thing about it.

Editor: The initial arrest of the Imam was foolish, irresponsible and unjustifiable. Now you are bringing religion into a discussion about crime. In Thailand, there is one law for all, and that's the way it should be. Enforcement, though, could be improved. All this talk about ''what's good for the goose is good for the gander'' comes from imported turkeys.

Posted by Noddy on January 30, 2010 14:54

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I am not condoning the act of stabbing a man to death (if you are defending yourself against non fatal aggression then why not stab in the leg?) but we expats seem to think that we can do and act anyway we want at times.
Just because someone cuts you off in traffic does not give you the right to be abusive to others. Also, the perp said the German chap was drunk, has there been any verification of this by the authorities?
If he was, it becomes a case of I can drink and drive but you can't cut me off in traffic and if you do I'll bad mouth you?

Editor: We will never know what was going through the mind of the deceased. I fail to understand why people seek explanations by stereotyping. ''We expats''? Please speak for yourself. The case is clearly road rage and as such, a needless death. The sole lesson is that care and consideration should be employed at all times, by all road users. Whatever else you may do, do not lose your temper.

Posted by Peter on January 31, 2010 11:56

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Unfortunately the deceased cannot give his side of the story. Its quite possible that the Motorcycle driver was the aggressor, after all he did force Wolf-dieter to stop, punched him in the face then stabs him to death and then claims self defence.

I don't think any expat resident would be silly enough to take on three Thai fellows. I reckon the Thai chap is saying what he needs to say to try and lessen his involvement. Much like the recent incident where the Tuk tuk driver claimed the Canadian kicked him in the stomach.

Posted by Antz Pantz on January 31, 2010 16:18

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Does anyone know if this sea eagles guy has a history of violence?

Posted by peter rawai on February 1, 2010 19:36

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First of all, I have no sympathy for the culprit.

Secondly, I feel truly sorry for the family of the victim.

However, by being bad-mouthed on the road is plain silly and basically asking for trouble.

I wouldn't dare yelling at a group of young men on motorcycles, EVER (Unless I am pretty sure I have the fighting skill of Tony Jaa).

The deceased could have been Thais, farangs, or any other nationalities. Let's not try to make it a "Thai murder Farang" case. This is simply a road rage. Period.

Posted by Kit Phuket on February 5, 2010 09:44


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