The Phuket Provincial Court approved Cpl Pornthep Channarong, an officer of the Phuket Provincial Police at the time, to post B600,000 bail, The Phuket News has been told.
Pornthep, who has already been dismissed from the Royal Thai Police, faces an attempted murder charge for shooting noodle vendor Aroon Thongplab in the stomach just before 6am on Tuesday while Mr Aroon was walking along the street after collecting a noodle bowl from a customer.
Pornthep also faces charges of carrying a firearm in a public area, and discharging a firearm in a public area.
Mr Aroon’s wife, Kulthida Chananan, told reporters late yesterday that she had been informed that Pornthep had been released on bail at about 4pm yesterday (Feb 26).
A lawyer who has volunteered to help her had informed her that Pornthep’s relatives had raised the money to post bail, she said.
“To be honest, my family and I are only normal people. We are afraid that he will threaten and assault us,” Ms Kulthida said.
“I want to ask for mercy from the court, please do not give him a bail, as we are feeling very insecure,“ she said.
Mr Aroon’s mother, Nuanchan Thongplab, also called for bail to be revoked.
“I want the court to be kind to us. We want to fight the bail approval, as we want him to face the charges. I do not want him to come out and live normally anymore. My son is still in the ICU room, and I am afraid that he will return to assault us,” she said.
Mr Aroon is still in intensive care at Vachira Phuket Hospital, Ms Kulthida said.
“The doctor told us that he is conscious all the time now, but he cannot make any movements and still needs a breathing tube,” she said.
A local motorbike taxi driver who knew Mr Aroon before the shooting said she too believed more “bad luck” was to come.
The driver, who asked to be named only as “Ms Jidapa”, knew Mr Aroon when he worked as a motorbike taxi driver in the area, before he was forced to start selling noodles with his mother-in-law in order to make a living.
Ms Jidapa worked at the same motorbike taxi rank as Mr Aroon.
“In the morning,about 6am, I returned from delivering a passenger and found the area was blocked off. A lot of people had gathered around the area, and one of them told me that Aroon had been shot,” Ms Jidapa said.
“I believe that the incident happened because he is now 25 years old. Thais believe in ‘benchapet’, which means that people in their 25th year will have bad luck or face bad incidents,” she said.