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Family apologises for assaulting traffic cop in Rayong

Three members of a family offer an apology to Pol Capt Witthaya Wutthiphan, a deputy traffic inspector at Maptaphut police station in Rayong, after assaulting him on May 10.(Grabbed from TV Channel 7)

RAYONG: Three members of a family met with boos and jeers from local residents when they showed up to apologise to a traffic police officer at Maptaphut police station for assaulting him after he issued them a ticket for illegal parking.

Phayom Saengwandee, 32, his wife Hathairat Somthawil, 35, and son Ittiphol Somthawil, 18, accompanied by lawyer Ronnarong Kaewphet, arrived at Maptaphut police station in Muang district of this eastern province on Wednesday morning to offer their apology to Pol Capt Witthaya Wutthiphan, a deputy traffic inspector, for the May 10 assault.

The quarrel began after the family left their pickup truck in a no-parking area near a local market at around 8am on May 10. When a traffic police officer issued a ticket to them for violating the traffic law, the family became enraged, swearing and yelling at the traffic police. The son punched Pol Capt Witthaya in the face.   

The incident was witnessed by many vendors and passers-by, one of whom recorded video of the incident and posted clips on social media that drew widespread condemnation of the family. Many netizens called for drastic action against the family.

Local residents give moral support to a police officer assaulted by a teenager over a parking ticket on May 10. (Photo taken from Maptaphut police station Facebook page)

The lawyer said he took the family to the police station to apologise to officer for what they had done.  

Mr Phayom and his wife said they would confess their actions in a court. Their teenage son said he felt remorseful for assaulting the officer, vowing to enter the monkhood when he turned 20 to make merit for his parents and police.

His mother said she felt sorry for the incident and promised not to do it again.

Pol Col Atthapong Suthornwipat, superintendent of Maptaphut police, said police were ready to forgive the family if they were remorseful over their actions - but the case against them would follow legal procedures. The three were charged with obstructing officers, while their son faced an additional charge of assault.

A group of angry residents gathered in front of the police station to berate the family. Some carried placards saying the family posed a danger to the community. One placard read  “Get out, dangerous people!’’

(Video Facebook/@Thaipolice.susu)

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