An image taken from a closed-circuit camera in Khon Kaen province shows the suspect allegedly raping and assaulting a woman and attempting to rape a girl on Monday. (Photo provided by Chakrapan Natanri)
KHON KAEN: 12-year-old girl selling honey at a roadside stall in Ban Phai district was rescued from attempted rape allegedly by a foreign man wanted for assaulting and raping a masseuse in a traditional massage parlor on the same day.
The suspect, 37, was arrested on Saturday at a Soi Nana condominium in Bangkok.
A police team led by Region 4 Provincial Police Commissioner Pol Lt Gen Yanyong Vet-osod arrested the US suspect, identified only as Robert, in the condominium. He has admitted to being the wanted person on the arrest warrant, Thai media reported.
It will then be handed over to Khon Kaen police.
The 32-year-old mother said the incident happened around 1 p.m. Monday on Mittraphap Road in Ban Phai District.
The woman said her family had two stalls selling honey on the road, about 500 meters apart. She was selling the products at the first stand while her husband looked after the other, helped by her daughter, who did not have to go to school due to Covid-19 restrictions.
After lunch that day, the father went to a nearby roadside forest in search of wood to repair the barn, leaving his daughter alone.
The mother said that during this time, a foreign man riding a motorcycle without license plates stopped near the stall and grabbed his shirt collar.
The girl screamed for help and he punched her in the mouth. At the time, a trailer passed and its driver, who saw the incident, honked his horn, prompting the man to flee on his bicycle, the mother said.
The girl said she was about to have a meal when she saw the stranger walk past the stall. Shortly after, the man turned around and approached her from the back of the hangar.
According to her, he pulled on the collar of her T-shirt to force her down. The man then grabbed her and said something in a foreign language. She screamed for help, but he didn’t stop and tried to kiss her. As she resisted, he punched her in the mouth, the girl said.
The man then opened the zipper on his pants and pulled out his penis. At that time, a truck carrying an oil tank arrived and the driver saw the incident. He honked and stopped to help her. The suspect then fled on his bike, said the girl.
Her mother took her to file a complaint with the police at the Ban Phai Police Station.
The girl identified him as the man who allegedly assaulted and raped the masseuse in Muang District earlier in the day after the police showed him his photos.
The 45-year-old, from Lop Buri, was working alone at the traditional Dee Na massage parlor on Rob Muang Road when the attack occurred on Monday morning. The man allegedly assaulted and raped her before fleeing on his motorcycle, police said.
The girl said she recognized him because he was not wearing a face mask and was still wearing the same clothes he was wearing when he allegedly attacked the woman. His motorbike also appeared to be the same one he was using to escape arrest after assaulting the woman.
Lt. Col. Pol Montri Supatam, Bang Phai’s deputy police chief, said police were examining CCTV cameras for clues about the suspect after receiving the complaint from the girl’s mother.
Psychologists and child protection officials would join police in questioning the girl on Monday, Lt. Col. Pol Montri said. After that, they would seek court approval to arrest the foreign suspect, he added.