Author Topic: Manhunt launched for bus driver who fatally assaulted and robbed a passenger  (Read 439 times)

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Offline Johnnie F.



Police have launched a manhunt for a bus driver who allegedly attacked a woman passenger and robbed her of her valuables.

The bus driver, identified as Watcharin Prathumporn, is on the run after he allegedly attacked the lone passenger in the bus, Mrs Boonpen Punyo, 56, on a dirt road which is not the normal route used by buses of the Roi-et-Buri Ram bus service. The victim died from serious face and head wounds after she was hospitalized.

The incident took place on Saturday night on a dirt road in Ban Dong Bak Nong Taten, Tambon Na Seenuan, Payak Poompisai district of Maha Sarakham province.

The Roi-et-Buri Ram bus got stuck in the dirt road and was left abandoned there. Curious villagers went on board and found blood trail and alerted their village headman who then alerted the district police.

The found the injured woman passenger in the bushes not far away from the bus and rushed her to the district hospital where she was pronounced dead shortly afterward.

The victim’s daughter told police that she managed to talk with her mother on the phone who said she was in danger and that she might be killed.

Police later questioned the bus owner, Mr Supol Boonkerd, who said he received a call from the driver, Watcharin, saying only that he was driving the bus back to Payak Poompisai district after offloading all the passengers in Roi-et.

Supol further said Watcharin used to be a bus assistant before he was upgraded as the driver and that he had behaved well all along.

ThaiPBS
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Offline Johnnie F.

Re: Bus driver caught for beating passenger to death, robbing her
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2016, 10:56:12 AM »
MAHA SARAKHAM - The driver of an interprovincial bus wanted for beating a woman passenger to death with a hammer and then fleeing with her gold jewellery was arrested in Wapi Pathum district on Tuesday.

Police apprehended Watcharin Prathumporn, 26, driver of the bus operating on the Buri Ram-Roi Et route, at a makeshift hut in a paddy field in Maha Sarakham's Wapi Pathum district, following a tip off the suspect was seen buying a grilled chicken at a petrol station in the district.

Police who search the area later found him sleeping in the hut, not far from the petrol station, Thai media reported.

Mr Watcharin confessed to having killed Boonpeng Panyo, 56, the lone passenger on board his bus on the night of Aug 27.

The bus had earlier travelled from Buri Ram to Roi Et. After setting down his passengers, Mr Watcharin allegedly was returning empty to Buri Ram and was flagged down by the victim along the way.

He confessed to police that seeing the woman wearing so much gold had driven him to the crime.

He drove the bus along a different route in nearby Phayakkhaphum Phisai district of Maha Sarakham, stopped and then used a hammer to hit her on the back of the head.

She collapsed unconscious and he stole her necklace and cash. He claimed he needed money to buy a motorcycle and to meet his personal expenses.

He told police that he hid the woman’s cash in a compartment at the back of the bus before dragging her body into a paddy field and leaving it there.

He fled the scene with her gold necklace, but forgot to take the hidden money.

Local residents found the seriously-injured woman and took her to a nearby hospital, but she died shortly after.

Her relatives told police that Mrs Boonpeng’s one-baht weight gold necklace and a one-baht weight gold bracelet were missing. Her 27,000 baht in cash was found inside the bus.

Bus operator Supit Watthasunthorn, 38, thanked police for the swift arrest of the suspect.

The bus operator told police that he usually travelled on the bus. He was aboard when it left Buri Ram at 10.20am on Aug 27 for Roi Et.

After other passengers got off in Roi Et, he drove another bus back to Buri Ram, while Mr Watcharin drove the empty bus to a bus queue in Phayakkhaphum Phisai district, said Mr Supit.

He said the suspect’s action had badly affected other drivers and operators of public transport as passengers would lose their trust in using interprovincial buses.

Mr Supit assured passengers he would strictly check personal records of new staff before hiring them as drivers. He would also provide financial assistance to the family of the victim.

Bangkok Post
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