August 4, 2008

Virtual reality

Some high school kid took GTA into real life, stabbed and killed a taxi driver, and tried to drive the taxi away. But he forgot that he doesn't know how to drive outside of the game. All over the local news: Bangkok Post (English) and Manager Online (Thai).

Edit: since Bangkok Post regularly erases their news posts, I'm archiving it here without permission.

Teenager imitates online game, kills taxi driver


A Mathayom 6 student stabbed a taxi driver to death yesterday, acting out a robbery he copied from the online game Grand Theft Auto. Neighbours called police to Soi Charan Sanitwong 77 in Bang Phlad district about 2.30am after being woken by a constantly blowing car horn and saw people struggling inside a pink taxi.

Police arrived and saw Polwat Chinno, 19, trying to steer the taxi backwards, but the soi is a dead end. The teen had locked himself in the car but they finally persuaded him to get out.

There was blood all over the vehicle. The body of the taxi driver, Kuan Pohkang, 54, from Maha Sarakham, was on the back seat. He had been stabbed about 10 times. Two sharp knives were found nearby.

Police said Polwat confessed to being addicted to the online game GTA and said killing seemed easy in the game. He imitated a scene where a criminal kills a driver for his car to escape police.

The game allows people to play the role of a criminal in a big city who attempts to climb the criminal ladder. They are given missions to complete, such as bank robbery and assassinations.

''I needed money to play the game every day. My parents give me only 100 baht a day, which is not enough. I am also fed up with them fighting. They are civil servants and do not make good money,'' he said.

''Today [Saturday] my mother gave me 500 baht, so in the evening I went to the Lotus superstore and bought knives.'' He flagged down one taxi near his house on Soi Charan Sanitwong 75, but the place was crowded so he did not make a move. He tried again and was picked up by Kuan, hoping the older man would not resist him.

When the taxi arrived at the destination, he pulled out a knife and held it against the driver's neck. He said he did not mean to kill him but the driver reached for a metal bar under a console and tried to hit him. He stabbed the driver several times, killing him, then dragged the body onto the back seat and sat behind the wheel.

He could not drive, but thought it would not be hard. He was still struggling with the car when police arrived.

Manon Pohkang, 25, the victim's son, said he was shocked by the sudden loss. His father was the family bread winner and was trying to repay loans to a bank and loan sharks. ''He was a nice man, who harmed no one,'' he said.

Polwat was charged with robbery causing death and possession of knives.

No comments: