By The Nation
The brawl, reportedly involving close to 100 men, erupted in the Udomsuk area of Bangkok’s Bang Na district, resulting in two deaths.
Two of the detained suspects, Piya Puangkaysorn and Rangsan Sornchaiyakorn, face several charges including collusion to kill others. Arrest warrants had been issued for them, as well as for Wanchai Mongkhonkhem, who is now on the run.
The third detained suspect, Charoen Charoenphon, was charged with unauthorised possession of a gun.
Metropolitan Police chief Pol Lt-General Suttipong Wongpin said police will soon seek arrest warrants for another four suspects.
“They will face different charges, depending on their role in the brawl,” he said.
Asked about widely shared clips that suggest the men killed in the brawl may have taken part in the fight, Sutipong said police needed time to investigate the incident.
Initially, it was reported that 20-year-old Weerawat Pheungkrut was a bystander and fatally struck by a bullet. He is survived by his mother and wife, who is four-months pregnant.
Also killed was Watcharin Nga-chalao, one of the taxi-motorcyclists involved in the turf clash between rival taxi queues.
Police said more than 100 members of the “Udomsuk 1” and “Udomsuk Rungruang” taxi stands began brawling shortly after 10am on Saturday.
Far outnumbered, police were unable to stop the fight. One of the Udomsuk Rungruang bikers, speaking on condition of anonymity, said it started after he was prevented from delivering a passenger to his destination and was forced to take off his jacket.
“I returned to my stand to tell my friends what happened and we decided to confront the other guys, but they outnumbered us and we got beaten up,” he said.
Kritton Sriboonmee, also of Udomsuk Rungruang, estimated there were nearly 100 men on the rival side, “armed with batons and wooden bars”, and he was struck on the head.
“I ran for my life, and then I heard four or five gunshots,” he said, adding that the two taxi stands have been locking horns since last year. Udomsuk Rungruang is a newer stand, though neither has a proper licence.
Metropolitan Police Division 5 chief Pol Maj-General Mongkhon Warunno said all the brawlers had been identified and the key men on both sides will be interrogated.