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Jetsada Phongphatthanaporn Charged in Underage Drinking Incident at Thai Ceremony: Details and Community Response

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Jetsada Phongphatthanaporn, 26, found himself in an unenviable predicament on Tuesday as he stood behind a partition wall at the Nong Bunmak police station in Nakhon Ratchasima. Accused of paying two 13-year-olds to guzzle alcohol at an ordination ceremony, Jetsada had no choice but to surrender to the authorities. The incident, which took place the previous Sunday, left one young girl in a coma, casting a shadow over the event. (Photo: Prasit Tangprasert)

Pol Col Thanaphat Phet-arun, the diligent chief of Nong Bunmak police station, addressed the media on Wednesday, revealing details of Jetsada’s confession. Jetsada, hailing from Pak Thongchai district, turned himself in on Tuesday afternoon, admitting to being the individual caught on video paying the young teens to drink liquor. Though he claimed it was the children who first offered to drink in exchange for money, his actions had severe repercussions.

Jetsada was charged under the stringent child protection laws that prohibit forcing, persuading, or enticing minors into inappropriate behavior. His offenses included hiring children to act in a harmful manner and providing them with alcohol—serious charges that carry a potential jail term of up to three months, a fine of up to 30,000 baht, or both, as stipulated by the Child Protection Act. Nevertheless, he was released after reporting to the police.

Determined to dig deeper into the case, Pol Col Thanaphat announced that more witnesses would be interviewed. Given that many were children, child protection officials would be involved to ensure their well-being during the questioning process.

The harrowing incident unfolded on Sunday when the young girl, after downing half a bottle of liquor, collapsed unconscious. She was immediately rushed to Nong Bunmak Hospital and subsequently transferred to Maharat Nakhon Ratchasima Hospital, where she was admitted to the intensive care unit. A local resident’s video captured the unsettling scene of men forming a circle around the children, cheering them on as they gulped down the liquor.

On Wednesday, a glimmer of hope emerged. The girl’s grandmother, the resilient 72-year-old Oui Krapheenok, shared that her granddaughter was now out of danger. The young girl had regained consciousness, could sit up in a wheelchair, and interact, though her voice remained hoarse—a reminder of the ordeal she endured.

In response to the situation, Nong Bunmak district chief Picharn Trapakwaen took swift action. On Wednesday, he convened a meeting to discuss measures to support the girl’s family. Visiting the family in Mitsamphan village the previous day, Picharn outlined their dire circumstances. The family, comprising 13 members aged between one and 16, struggled with poverty. Two adults, hampered by underlying illnesses, were unable to provide any assistance. Their primary sources of income were the children’s parents and state allowances for the elderly.

Local authorities vowed to not only support the girl’s family but also to launch a campaign to raise awareness about the dangers of alcohol consumption. Sales of cigarettes and alcohol to children were explicitly illegal, especially during culturally significant events such as ordination or funeral ceremonies. Picharn emphasized the necessity of strict enforcement of these bans, particularly in schools and temples, to prevent such distressing incidents in the future.

The ordeal served as a stark reminder of the responsibilities adults bear in protecting the younger generation. As Jetsada awaits his fate, the community rallies to heal, educate, and safeguard their children from similar hazards, turning a tragic incident into a catalyst for positive change.


  1. David June 12, 2024

    Jetsada should be locked up for a long time. What kind of person pays kids to drink alcohol?

    • Karen T. June 12, 2024

      Agreed, David. This kind of behavior is absolutely unacceptable and the punishment should be more severe.

      • Sammy June 12, 2024

        While it’s horrible, remember that laws differ in every country. Seems like he’s already facing significant penalties.

      • David June 12, 2024

        True, Sammy, but what’s a few months in jail compared to the lifetime trauma for that girl?

    • different_opinion June 12, 2024

      I think it’s more complex. We shouldn’t jump to conclusions without understanding the full story.

  2. Lulu B. June 12, 2024

    Goes to show how poverty leads people to make desperate and terrible decisions.

    • PhilosopherXX June 12, 2024

      Yes, socioeconomic conditions often contribute to such incidents, but it’s no excuse for endangering children.

      • Lulu B. June 12, 2024

        Exactly, it’s a vicious cycle. Communities need more support and education to prevent such tragedies.

      • grower134 June 12, 2024

        True, PhilosopherXX. But at the end of the day, people need to take personal responsibility.

    • Tommy12 June 12, 2024

      I doubt poverty had anything to do with it. This is just a sick individual.

  3. Nora D. June 12, 2024

    Where were the parents? It’s tragic this happened, but guardians need to be more vigilant too.

    • singlemom June 12, 2024

      Nora D., it’s not always easy for parents, especially in large families with few resources.

      • Nora D. June 12, 2024

        I understand, singlemom, but leaving kids unsupervised around alcohol is just too risky.

    • Alex P. June 12, 2024

      Right, but the community also needs to help watch over kids. It’s not just up to parents.

  4. Lara Fox June 12, 2024

    Why isn’t there more widespread condemnation of the men encouraging this? They’re just as guilty!

    • EcoWarrior June 12, 2024

      Exactly, Lara. Social norms need to change to hold everyone accountable, not just the main culprit.

      • Lara Fox June 12, 2024

        Accountability is key, EcoWarrior. Community values need a big overhaul.

    • LuckyBlue June 12, 2024

      Totally agree! The whole group should face charges, not just Jetsada.

  5. analytica June 12, 2024

    Jetsada’s remorse seems genuine at least. I hope this tragic event leads to real change.

  6. TakingAStand June 12, 2024

    So relieved to hear the girl is recovering. The village community needs all the support they can get.

  7. Garry K. June 12, 2024

    The police chief is handling this well, but why was Jetsada released after reporting to the police?

    • Kelly June 12, 2024

      Bailing out is part of the legal procedure in many places, Garry. He hasn’t been acquitted yet.

  8. PeachyKeen June 12, 2024

    These poor children. It’s heartening to see local authorities taking steps to support them and prevent future incidents.

    • Robbie45 June 12, 2024

      Yes, PeachyKeen, but these measures often fail to reach the most vulnerable.

  9. Jane Doe June 12, 2024

    Strict enforcement of the bans on alcohol and cigarettes during such events is long overdue. This should be a wake-up call for all communities.

  10. BookWorm June 12, 2024

    Child protection laws need to be strengthened and uniformly enforced. Only stiff penalties can deter such behavior.

    • RationalThinker June 12, 2024

      Absolutely, BookWorm. Deterrence is crucial in protecting minors.

  11. ConcernedMom June 12, 2024

    Reading this is heartbreaking. Communities should unite and protect the vulnerable.

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