BANGKOK – Seree “Pae” Rodkiang, 35, a Thai tattoo artist has been arrested and charged with killing a French tourist who intervened in a brawl between the urinating suspect and another Frenchman in Bangkok early on Thursday.
The French victim’s name was initially withheld pending notification of relatives, but he was later identified by a police spokesman as Leo Alexandre Achille Le Gratiet, 23.
He was stabbed in his left chest about 3am in front of Flapping Duck guesthouse on Lamphu Road in Sam Sen Nai area of Phra Nakhon district, according to Pol Lt Kanya Premtha, deputy investigation chief at Chana Songkhram police station.
A woman who witnessed the attack, Maninee Promnat, 30, told police called to the scene that she knew the slain tourist, who stayed at the guesthouse.
She and her friends were drinking in the Black Coral Bar at the front of the guesthouse. Seree “Pae” Rodkiang and his friends came into the bar and they sat at a table next to hers.
After the bar closed, she remained there, and then heard a loud altercation nearby. She saw Mr Pae quarreling with Le Gratiet on a bridge over Bang Lamphu canal.
She and other people went to separate the two men, hoping to end the quarrel, Mr Pae left, but he returned shortly after with a knife and fatally stabbed Le Gratiet then fled the crime scene.
Guesthouse owner Eskimo Meenin, 35, said Le Gratiet had been staying there for five days. He was a former exchange student, loved Thailand and was a regular visitor to the country.
Mr Pae was a Thai tattoo artist who had just returned from abroad. He regularly travelled between Thailand and Switzerland.
Mr. Le Gratiet apparently saw Mr Pae urinating into Bang Lamphu canal from the bridge and told him should not do that, sparking the quarrel that led to the fatal stabbing.
Mr Pae fled the scene but was later apprehended by police at Bella Bella Riverview apartment in Phra Nakhon district.
He was taken to Chana Songkhram police station for interrogation and legal action. He allegedly confessed to the charge, according to the Tourist Police’s website.
Tourist police said Seree “Pae” Rodkiang, 35, of Nakhon Sawan had no prior criminal record.