Police seek ex-novice who held monk at knifepoint

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Police are seeking a former novice and suspected drug addict for allegedly holding a monk at knifepoint at a Pattaya temple.

Somchai Boonsri, 28, was captured on close-circuit camera at Boonkanchanaram Temple on Jan. 25 grabbing and holding a blade to the throat of 70-year-old monk Luang Tha Tong in a fit of rage over not being able to find his former teacher.

Police are looking for Somchai Boonsri, captured on close-circuit camera grabbing and holding a blade to the throat of a 70-year-old monk in a fit of rage.Police are looking for Somchai Boonsri, captured on close-circuit camera grabbing and holding a blade to the throat of a 70-year-old monk in a fit of rage.

The monk said he was having a cigarette break outside the dorm room of Luang Tha Yut when a man he didn’t know approached him, seeking the Yut’s whereabouts. Tong said he didn’t know and walked away, only to be grabbed around the neck from behind and threatened.

After looking around for Yut and not finding him, the attacker fled the temple without harming the elderly monk. Police are now trying to track him down.

Temple officials said Somchai was a former novice studying under Yut and tried to attack his teacher last year after being dismissed from the wat for alleged drug use. He was believed to be high again when he returned to the temple last week.