According to a report filed by Lt Col Narong Muangduang of the Wichit Police, Mr Padet Boonkeaw, 50, told police that he had been threatened with a gun following a altercation on the road at about 10.30am on Dec 28.
According to the report Padet was driving from his home in Phuket Town to Patong for work. As he drove passed Darasamut intersection, he said a van driver tried to cut in front of him, and he was unable to give the way because of other traffic.
Then, as Padet drove near the intersection of Bang Yai Rd and Wichit-Songkran Rd the van driver tired to cut in front of him again. Incensed by this behaviour Padet then got out of his car and went to talk with the van driver.
As he approached the van the van driver pulled gun out and threatened Padet, causing him to run back to his own car. He then called the police as he followed van driver and tried to get video footage as evidence.
Eventually Patong police stopped the van, which had the company name “Aroon Kuechan” printed on its side, and found the driver to be in possession of a automatic handgun and ammunition in the black bag.
The police found that the van driver had a gun license but did not have a permit to carry gun in public. Policeman brought him to the station for further questioning and laid charges.
A representative of Public Transport Group, Mr Tinakorn Jommeung, on behalf of the van driver, told police that the van driver, whom he identified as Mr Aroon, did not draw his weapon during the confrontation.
Instead he says Mr Aroon verbally warned Padet, as he and his passenger approached the van armed with a steel rod and a glass bottle, to back away or risk being killed.
“Today, we went to Wichit Police Station to deny that Mr Aroon drove improperly as any CCTV fottage will prove. He did not start to fight. It is meaningless to do this. If the pick up track had hit his van he would lose time to fix it which would affect his income. He has no reason to do this,“ Mr Tinakorn said.
Pol Col Wikorn Somsook, Chief of Wichit Police Station, said that the Van driver is still being charged.
“Patong police have charged him already, but I am happy to report the claims of Mr Aroon," he said.
Additional reporting Premkamon Ketsara