November 11, 2007 / 7:56 AM / 12 years ago

Thai guard accused of killing sleepy colleagues

BANGKOK (Reuters) - A Bangkok security guard has been arrested for allegedly beating to death eight guards who slept on the job and badly injuring eight others in a year-long killing spree, police said on Sunday.

“I used to wake them up, but they scolded me. So I’ve remained enraged since then,” Wittaya Jaikhan, 30, was quoted as saying by the Bangkok Post after his arrest on Saturday.

Wittaya, a guard at a Bangkok hospital, told police he would cruise the streets of the Thai capital during his off hours, looking for sleeping guards who he said did not deserve their pay.

He shook them awake but if they kept on dozing, he beat them with an iron pipe or a wooden stick, police said.

Bangkok police chief Assawin Kwanmuang said Wittaya has been linked to 18 attacks on guards since January, the latest on November 4 when a guard at a Bangkok pawnshop was beaten to death.

“We found an iron pipe, a wooden stick, and a mobile phone we believe belonged to one of his victims,” Assawin said of Wittaya’s arrest.

Police began hunting Wittaya after they obtained his picture from a security camera that recorded the July murder of Jakrapol Maomee, a guard at a Bangkok car dealership.

They later tracked Wittaya down after he made a call with Jakrapol’s mobile phone.

Police said Wittaya is undergoing a psychiatric assessment before he is formally charged with premeditated murder and theft.

Reporting by Ploy Chitsomboon; Editing by Darren Schuettler

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