Civil-defense volunteer arrested on gun charges

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A Pattaya civil defense volunteer has been arrested for allegedly shooting his illegal firearm in the air, supposedly to break up a fight.

Throngkrit Thongnath, 35, was apprehended after a high-speed chase on Third Road Sept. 26. Police had mobilized to locate his gold Honda Cidia after reports about a shooting at Bali Hai Pier.

Throngkrit Thongnath (center) said he was only trying to break up a fight when he fired his weapon into the air near Bali Hai pier. Throngkrit Thongnath (center) said he was only trying to break up a fight when he fired his weapon into the air near Bali Hai pier.

The suspect was arrested after police found a 9mm handgun and bullets in his car, in which two other passengers were traveling. By law, civil defense and police volunteers are not allowed to carry weapons.

Police said Throngkrit claimed he and his buddies were drinking in a Bali Hai-area bar when he saw two youths fighting. To break up the fight, he told investigators, he ran to his car to get the gun, then fired three shots into the air to scare them off.

Pointing out bullets fired up eventually come down and could kill someone, police arrested the supposed do-gooder volunteer on weapons charges, promising to investigate his story further.