Monday, January 7, 2008

Canadian Murdered by Thai Policeman in Chiang Mai

CNN International

BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) -- A Thai police officer fatally shot a Canadian man and wounded his pregnant companion during a scuffle outside a bar in northern Thailand, authorities said Monday.

The officer told investigators the shooting was an accident, but he was charged with premeditated murder, said police Col. Sombat Panya of Pai district in northern Mae Hong Son.

John Leo Del Pinto, 25, died early Sunday of two gunshot wounds -- one to the face and one to the torso -- and his partner, Carly Reisig, also of Canada, was hospitalized with a bullet wound, Sombat said.

The bullet grazed Reisig's upper left torso, and the fetus was unharmed, Sombat said.

The couple, who had rented a home in the town of Mae Hong Son, were at a bar in Pai when they began arguing, Sombat said. Their argument turned physical outside the bar and when a police officer tried to intervene the couple attacked him, Sombat said.

A Canadian Embassy spokesman in Bangkok did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

The officer, Sgt. Uthai Dechawiwat, told investigators that Del Pinto tried to grab his pistol and the gun "accidentally went off" three times, Sombat said.

However, Uthai was charged with premeditated murder for Del Pinto's death and with "intent to kill" in connection with Reisig, Sombat said. Uthai was released on bail.

The couple had rented a home for several years in Mae Hong Son, on the border with Myanmar, but took regular trips in and out of Thailand to extend their short-term tourist visas, Sombat said. Their hometowns in Canada were not immediately known, he said.

Bangkok gossip columnist Stickman reports that the cop shot the man in the mouth. thread here.

The Nation has the report here.


Kahve said...
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Kahve said...

This Sombat guy really is a piece of work. It is amazing how Col. is covering up the facts. Rented a house for several years? His lies are uncovered and found to be ridiculous by western media. What he was thinkin? Could someone tell, is this the only story that gets published in Thai language. Maybe it is so that Sombats comments were meant not for BKK Post or The Nation but for Thai language media that stops following the story after Sombats "final words". Thais, well, they won't care or know about this...This kind of behavior really proves that you CANNOT TRUST THAI POLICE OFFICERS! This Sombat is right out there lying his teeth out. Fetus? You cannot even connect these level of lies to "early investigation mistakes", they are so "far out" misinformation! Makes me puke. And cry from despair of all the police lies. Horrible.