RATCHABURI – A 12-year-old girl has exhibited remarkable courage and instinctual awareness – and provided a great example to others – while saving herself from possible assault, abduction or worse.
Every morning, Chayaporn Kumnerdjaeng, a Mathayom 1 (Grade 7) student, leaves her house in Ban Pong district around 6am, and waits at a roadside food shop for her school van to take her to school in Muang district.
On May 15, a van she’d never seen before pulled up. The driver, a man in his 30s or 40s, got out and opened the passenger door, gesturing for her to get in.
“Your regular driver wants me to pick you up today,” Chayaporn recalls him saying.
The 12-year-old felt like something was wrong. She looked inside the van, and didn’t see a single other student in the normally crowded van. Instead of getting in, she stepped back from the roadside, entered the shop and called her regular driver.
“There’s nobody to take you to school today,” he told her on the phone. “DO NOT get into that van!”
Shop owner Tanongsak Prommoon was also alert. Overhearing the conversation, he walked out to the van, wrote down the license plate and addressed the driver. “This is not the van Chayaporn usually takes,” he told him. The man then drove away.
As soon as she found out what had happened, Chayaporn’s mother Khemika filed a complaint at Bang Pong police station. Police later determined that the van’s license plate was fake.
The mother said she reported the mysterious van to police in case the driver tried the same trick with other children.
Surat Arthan, the village chief of the Moon 18 neighborhood where Mrs Kumnerdjaeng and her daughter live, said he has warned all the local community leaders to watch out for any suspicious vans – because nothing is more important than the safety of all our children.
Source: Bangkok Post