The mercy of one man can change another's world.
A man burst into the Huai Khwang Police Station in Bangkok, waving a knife at police officers. Rather than wrestling the man to the ground, one officer decided to talk it out. Sgt. Maj. Anirut Malee kept his cool and started a dialogue with the distressed man who eventually surrendered his knife. Once the man was disarmed Anirut extended his arms and gave the man a big hug.
Malee spoke with reporters about the incident:
“We try to negotiate first,” said Anirut, who’s been a cop for 23 years. “I could have wrestled him down and taken his knife away, but what if he ended up hurting himself?”
Anirut said he ordered all other policemen to leave the area and started talking with the intruder. He gathered the man was stressed because his employer had cheated him of his salary and someone had recently stolen his guitar.
“I told him, ‘Please calm down, brother. If you want a guitar, I can give you one. I promise you, but you must lay down your knife first,’” Anirut recalled. “I had to make him feel he could trust me.”
Malee’s act of mercy went viral and many people support his decision to resolve the conflict peacefully. Anirut, no stranger to this tactic, has also successfully talked a suicidal person off a ledge.
The offender was fined 200 Baht ($5.86) for carrying a weapon without permission. The cops waived the fee, as the man could not afford to pay. Anirut gave the man his guitar which happened to be at the station.
Anirut was still concerned about the man and tried to find him at the gas station he claimed to work at. Unfortunately, Malee has not yet been able to locate him.