Autistic man charged in tragic drowning of 11-year-old Pattaya boy

The Sawang Boriboon Thammasathan rescuers carry the lifeless body on 11-year-old Bom out of the Huai Chak Nok Reservoir in east Pattaya.

An autistic man has been charged in the negligent death of an 11-year-old who drowned in east Pattaya.

Attaphol Thimkomol, 28 was identified by two friends of Bom, the 11-year-old boy who drowned March 26 in the Huai Chak Nok Reservoir. Attaphol, whose grandmother, Somboon Boonjan, said suffers from a mental-development condition she likened to autism, denied any involvement in the death.

Bom and his pals, Beam and Phum, had been at the reservoir looking for fighting fish. Bom saw Attaphol playing alone in the water and approached him, asking how deep the water was. None of the three boys could swim.

Beam and Phum said Attaphol was talking to himself unintelligibly and suddenly picked up Bom, carrying him out 10 meters from shore where he threw the boy in the water.

Police and residents arrive at the scene where Bom was last seen as the rescue team prepares to begin the search and rescue operations.

Bom flailed and called for help. Attaphol did nothing and his friends, who can’t swim, where unable to assist. The boy sank to the bottom and his friends ran for help.

Bom then went to shore, jumped on his bicycle and pedaled home to his house on Soi Tungklom-Tanman 13. Sawang Boriboon Thammasathan rescuers arrived, but it was too late. It took 30 minutes to recover the body.

Somboon, 68, said her grandson has been mentally challenged since birth and has trouble even speaking. She said he had never hurt anyone before and insisted Attaphol couldn’t have done it. But she admitted he had been at the reservoir.

Attaphol was charged with negligence resulting in death and will be evaluated prior to prosecution.