Tourist-stabbing bus attendant arrested


SAMUT SAKHON, June 27 —  A 16- year-old tour bus company employee who stabbed a British tourist in Samut Sakhon early today was arrested in Prachuap Khiri Khan province this afternoon. 

The victim is reported in stable condition and being transferred to hospital in Bangkok.

Provincial Police Region 7 Commissioner Pol Lt-Gen Harnpon Nitwiboon, Samut Sakhon Governor Julapat Saengchan and Samut Sakhon Police Chief Pol Maj-Gen Tayarit Akepaopan jointly told a news conference on the case.

Leigh Banks, 36, was stabbed by the bus driver’s helper when the vehicle stopped at a petrol station in Samut Sakhon where he and his wife and another 20 passengers had travelled on the bus from the southern province of Surat Thani en route to Bangkok.

Gen Harnpon said that a police investigation team received information that the boy was fleeing to Prachuap Khiri Khan, then the team alerted the Highway Police in Prachuap Khiri Kan leading to the arrest.

The boy was now taken to Samut Sakhon for questioning and re-enacted the crime.

Police also found a knife, dried kratom leaves and tissue paper sheets with blood stains on the tour bus which was the crime scene.

Bus driver Watcharin Jinda, 23, told police that he carried about 20 foreign tourists from Surat Thani but the bus had an engine problem at the Khao Yoi area in Phetchaburi.

The bus owner then sent vans to transfer the tourists to Bangkok but Mr Banks and his wife could not go with the van because they had two bicycles with them.

Mr Banks and his wife waited while the engine was being fixed and went on the bus to the petrol station, where they got off the bus with their bicycles and baggages.

The bus left the petrol station to clean the toilet before returning to the station, waiting for the next trip to southern region.

Mr Banks inquired about his missing valuables, reporting that his baggage has been rummaged through, and he quarrelled with the bus attendant before he was stabbed.

Mr Watcharin said he drove the bus away from the petrol station and dropped the boy along the way before he was stopped by police.

The British tourist was wounded in his torso and the knife penetrated and tore part of one lung. A Thai  woman passerby identified as Sumalee Yisunkaew offered help, called an ambulance and also called the police.

The wounded tourist was initially admitted at Mahachai 1 Hospital and now has been transferred to Bumrungrad Hospital in Bangkok.