Police hunt for chemical attacker in Bangkok

While the online postings referred to five incidents, police have identified only four of them, including the most detailed account, by a woman identified as Tao claiming to have been the victim of a double attack on the night of May 11. More cases have since turned up in media reports with victims showing up with records of treatments for wounds caused by chemical burns.

Apart from Tao's case, acting Bangkok police chief Pol MajGeneral Khamronwit Thoopkrajang gave details at a police press conference of three other cases. An incident at around 7.30pm in Bang Sue police's jurisdiction and another two incidents both on June 4 in Phaholyothin and Sutthisarn police's jurisdictions. The three police stations and Lumpini police, which received a complaint from Tao, are working together to solve the case, he added.

The officer said a single attacker was likely, and that none of the victims had personal or business conflicts with anyone.

Bang Sue police later identified a fifth case, which was reported by a victim on May 31 but not acted upon until media coverage of the matter caught the public's attention. A senior officer, Pol LtColonel Wasuthep Khongklom, said the liquid used was not an acidic substance, but possibly an alkalinebased chemical mixture, which can be equally dangerous but whose ingredients would be easier to acquire than acidic chemicals.

Police are also seeking details from doctors who treated patients in the cases to find out the type of substance used in the attacks.

A second victim to give a detailed account to police yesterday was attacked on May 31 in front of Big C Mall near Saphan Khwai intersection while she was about to use a pedestrian flyover. She later stopped by at a shop and asked for water to wash away liquid that landed on her neck and arm. She later said that although the wounds were healing she had been mentally affected by the attack.

Lumpini police later said that all footage captured by cameras in the area before May 11, when Tao was attacked, had been deleted and footage taken from privately owned cameras was unhelpful.

A police psychiatrist, Pol LtColonel Dr Anchulee Theerawongphaisal, said the attacker, while likely of normal intelligence, was mentally twisted and possibly had bad or traumatic experiences with women. She called on women not to stroll alone on Bangkok streets and to pay more attention to their surroundings.

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