BANGKOK – An army commander has apologized to staff at Modernine TV station in Bangkok after an armed soldier unzipped his pants and briefly masturbated in front of a female news anchor early Wednesday.
The Bangkok Post reported that the private, who was carrying an M16 rifle and wearing a bullet-proof vest, a tattoo on his arm and a friendly smile, had walked around a dressing room at the station for about 15 minutes at about 4am on Wednesday. At the time makeup staff were preparing the news anchor for a morning news program.
When a staff member asked the soldier what he wanted, he did not reply but stopped at the door of the dressing room and started to masturbate facing the female news anchor.
The makeup staffer then ran out to call a security guard. As the rest remained stunned, the private ran away and left his rifle and bullet-proof vest at the fence of the station.
Later, Lt Col Theerapong Chutinant, commander of the 2nd Infantry Battalion to which the private belongs, arrived with a fruit basket to make an apology. He was quoted as saying that the private from Surin province would be caught and punished.
Suwit Sutthiprapha, a senior morning news anchor at the TV station, confirmed on Thursday that the commander showed up for the apology and a military supervisor at the station might be punished for the incident.
Soldiers have been deployed at the state-run TV station since the political crisis escalated months ago.