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GMMTV fires host Akanat ‘Nott’ for punching motorcyclist

BANGKOK: GMMTV has terminated its contract with Akanat “Nott” Ariyaritwikul, a TV programme host on the network, after a video clip showing the driver of a Mini sedan punching a motorcyclist went viral yesterday (Nov 6).

crime, police, transport, violence,


Bangkok Post

Monday 7 November 2016, 05:42PM


Akanat ‘Nott’ Ariyaritwikul gives in interview which was shown by the live coverage of Ruang Lao Chao Nee Facebook page.
Akanat ‘Nott’ Ariyaritwikul gives in interview which was shown by the live coverage of Ruang Lao Chao Nee Facebook page.

Mr Akanat, 28, became notorious on social media overnight. The video clip showed him punching a motorcyclist and forcing the man to perform a krab to his car. He accused the motorcyclist of scratching his vehicle with his bike.

The incident occurred on Friday (Nov 4). The two men later went to police and both initially agreed not to file a complaint.

However, the video clip of the incident stirred public criticism. Mr Akanat’s demand that the youth “krab rot ku” (kneel and wai before my car) became the most popular hashtag on Twitter.

GMMTV responded by issuing a statement today (Nov 7) saying the company regretted Mr Akanat’s behaviour. As a TV host and actor he should behave in a way that sets an example for youth.

The company had considered the incident and decided to cancel his employment with immediate effect. It could not condone inappropriate behaviour.

In addition to his contract being cancelled, Mr Akanat will also be required to return the award for being a role model he received in September.

The motorcyclist, identified as Kittisak Singto, 25, told a police officer called to the scene on Friday that his bike was hit by a taxi. He was knocked off balance and crashed into the Mini Countryman. He had tried unsuccessfully to catch up to the taxi, then returned to the scene of the incident. Once there, he had been grabbed, punched several times and ordered to “krab” the car, which he did not do.

Both men went to Yannawa police station on Friday to give their statement. Each claimed to be the damaged party, but they agreed not to take the matter any further.

However, Mr Kittisak, his mother and his sister, went to the police station yesterday to file a report about the physical assault. 

Suthira Hongthong, Mr Kittisak’s mother, said she had earlier not wanted her son to file a report as it seemed he received only some bruising. But at Lertsin Hospital they learned that his nose was broken too. They were unable to contact Mr Akanat. 

Unit - 27

Mrs Suthira later saw the video clip and felt that Mr Akanat’s actions were unacceptable, so she took her son to the police station to file a complaint. 

Mr Akanat and his lawyer yesterday night went to see the police station, and were there for about three hours. 

The lawyer, Adul Tinapong, said his client reported a hit-and-run accident that left his car damaged. He said Mr Akanat had punched the motorcyclist in an act of self-defence.

Early this morning, on the Facebook page Ruang Lao Chao Nee live coverage, Mr Akanat said that he had been able to talk to Mr Kittisak’s mother over the phone and was willing to pay some of the cost of medical treatment. 

Regarding to the “krab rot ku” comment, Mr Akanat said he was worried that Mr Kittisak would run away, and he was angry and wanted to protect his “dream” car. He asked the public not to judge him by a video clip lasting just over a minute.

Mr Akanat later this morning cancelled a scheduled 2pm press conference. Shortly afterwards, GMMTV issued a statement announcing it had terminated Mr Akanat’s employment.

Thai PBS also suspended the airing of the programme “Thailand Science Challenge” which Mr Akanat hosts.

Maj Gen Songpol Watthanachai, a deputy police spokesman, said today that Yannawa police had been instructed to speed up their handling of the matter, which must be split into two cases – the hit-and-run case, and a physical assault case in which Mr Kittisak had clearly been seriously hurt.

Read original story here.

 

 

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