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Phuket Town incident with unstable drug addict brandishing knives ends safely

Phuket Town incident with unstable drug addict brandishing knives ends safely

PHUKET: An incident on the south side of Phuket Town that saw an emotionally unstable man roaming around in front of a complex of rowhouses with a machete and holding a knife to his own throat ended safely yesterday (Jan 12) after the man’s friend managed to calm the man down.

By Eakkapop Thongtub

Wednesday 13 January 2021, 12:05PM

Police were called to the Hor Khiew complex of single-level rowhouses on Soi 31 Sakdidet Rd at about 2:30pm after local residents reported the man roaming around with the knives, saying they feared for their safety and for the safety of the man himself.

Officers led by Lt Gen Boonchai Jareonhatthakit, joined by investigator Lt Peerasit Noopayan and more than 20 officers, arrived to see the man walking around in front of the rowhouses holding a Sparta blade in one hand and a kitchen knife in the other.

The man, shirtless but wearing green sports shorts, was holding the kitchen knife to his own throat.

It was explained to officers at the scene that the man was Meen Archapong, 29, originally from Nakhon Sri Thammarat.

Mr Meen lived at the complex of rowhouses, as did his mother and disabled sister, who live in another room at the complex. Mr Meen’s brother and wife and their daughter also live in another rowhouse at the complex.

However, while police were trying to talk with Mr Meen, he locked himself alone in his room, saying he wanted to be left alone.

After two hours of unsuccessful attempts to convince Mr Meen to surrender, a friend of Mr Meen, Somchow Matthapan, arrived and started talking to Mr Meen.

Mr Somchow, 40, explained to police that he had known Mr Meen for more than a year and that Mr Meen used to work as a stainless-steel craftsman but lost his job about five months ago and ended up frequently using drugs.

Property in Phuket

Mr Meen’s brother told police that Mr Meen was taken to Suan Saranrom Psychological Hospital in Surat Thani by his mother to be treated for depression after he lost his job.

After Mr Meen was discharged from the mental health wing at the hospital, he could no longer get his medication, and turned to using drugs.

Mr Meen was now considered even by his own family to be a drug addict.

The incident yesterday began when Mr Meen asked his mother for money to buy drugs, but she had no money to spare.

Mr Meen’s friend Mr Somchow kept talking to Mr Meen to calm him down, and even had some of Mr Meen’s favourite music played loudly to help him calm down.

The incident ended with Mr Meen unlocking the door to his room, allowing his friends inside.

Police have confirmed that the appropriate authorities have been contacted to provide Mr Meen help.

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