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The dive firm's vehicle after the hot night of action in Kata

Phuket Police Open Fire as Kidnap Knifeman Flees

Saturday, October 17, 2009
New Photo Album Above

SHOTS WERE fired outside one of Phuket's most popular resorts last night as the Miss Teen Thailand Quest was taking place inside.

Tourists scattered as the shots rang out about 8pm near the Kata Beach Resort. Some visitors, thinking the shots were fireworks, hurried closer to see the ''fun.''

The firing came as a man who had kidnapped a woman by holding a knife to her throat attempted to elude police road blocks in an unfolding drama.

The woman had been sitting in the vehicle on the Kata beach road, awaiting the return of a boatload of tourist divers, when the man entered the cabin of the vehicle and held the knife at her throat.

As he drove away, the woman, a diving instructor, spotted a police uniform, threw herself from the converted pick-up, and alerted the officer.

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Acting quickly, the policeman radioed other officers, who blocked nearby exits around the Kata area, improvising by using vehicles such as water tankers.

The knifeman saw his avenue of escape blocked, and turned back to the beachfront, past the entrance to the Kata Beach Resort.

It was then that two officers stepped forward and tried to stop the vehicle. The man drove on so police shot at the vehicles' tyres, Phuketwan was told today by senior investigator Lieutenant Colonel Tachai Madthayan.

The converted pickup, with at least two tyres gone, ran into another vehicle but continued past the resort and along the beach road, swinging right at the northern end and only stopping when the driver encountered the water tanker.

Police and locals took the man into custody. He was named as Chongtam Srisongkerm, 27. Lt Colonel Tachai said Chongtam was on bail awaiting trial for drug possession and robbery charges.

Phuketwan reader Michael Dawson, a frequent visitor to Phuket from Britain, told us he was nearby in Kata last night, having a pizza with his 10-year-old son Kieran and a school friend, Liam Kealy: ''As soon as I heard the first shot I got my boy and his friend as far away as possible, quickly.

''A lot of tourists also ran, but others thought it was fireworks. About six shots were fired. It's not the kind of thing you expect in the middle of Kata.''

Inside the resort, the Miss Teen Thailand Quest event went on, undisturbed. It took police about 30 minutes from the time the alert went up to corral the knifeman.

He made at least two circuits of the Kata beach road loop before being apprehended. He appeared to have been nicked by at least two shots, judging by the blood in photographs in the Thai press of the vehicle's cabin.
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Comments

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sounds like good work from the police.

Posted by Lena on October 17, 2009 15:34

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Great job with the police! I wonder if they will try to find out if it is the rapist / attacker (S) from Nai Harn.

Great Job to Phuket Wan too, with the stories and photos!

Posted by VFaye on October 18, 2009 15:47

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Guns and shoots out will not go down well with tourists....fact! why would anyone go to a resort town where this sort of thing can possibly take place? Tourist safety has slipped big time in phuket (based on articles read here) and it must be addressed now!

Posted by Anonymous on October 18, 2009 16:25

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Rapes and worse are not good for tourists. Fact. So it is nice the police acted fast and furious.

I am not Ms. Dexter, but I would suggest a knife in the hand and multiple accidents with the car cut you open like this. The spray is enormous. Also see no bullet holes in the cabin, so my bet is self inflicted by accident...

Posted by Lena on October 18, 2009 19:26

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Shut up anonymous ...try reading the London papers....

Posted by Nick on October 20, 2009 03:39


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