Officials at Patong Police Station were alerted to the incident of a man aiming to intimidate tourists with a gun around 5pm yesterday and rushed to the scene immediately only to find the man had already departed.
Using a combination of eye witness accounts and local CCTV footage from the scene on Bangla Rd, police were able to identify the perpetrator as Kittipong ‘Bank’ Chanthawong, a 25-year-old native of Nakhon Si Thammarat.
Shortly afterwards, around 6pm, Mr Kittipong surrendered to police, meeting a team of officers under the direction of Phuket Provincial Police Deputy Commander Col Peerapong Chai-arun, who is currently Acting Superintendent at Patong Police Station, and Pol Lt Col Ekachai Siri of the Phuket Tourist Police near a water shop next to Prince of Songkla University Phuket Campus in Kathu.
On searching Mr Kittipong, police discovered the firearm and the blank ammunition that had been used in the incident earlier on Bangla Rd.
Mr Kittipong also escorted officers to his rented property at 57 Soi Maneethong, Ratchapatanuson Road in Patong where police discovered the white long-sleeved shirt and pants that he admitted had worn during the incident.
The clothes, firearm and blank bullets were confiscated by police and Mr Kittipong was taken into custody at Patong Police Station for further questioning.
The tourist that had been accosted earlier that day by Mr Kittipong was present and identified his aggressor to officers. It was not confirmed whether there were any other tourists that Mr Kittipong had approached or threatened.
Niether was it confirmed why Mr Kittipong had behaved in such a threatening manner, what his motives were or what charges he may face.