Thai police and prosecutors are offering 34-year-old Jesse Edward Lee the opportunity to pay compensation to the victims of the crime and avoid criminal prosecution for the criminal damage he carried out while drunk in the city at the end of July.

An American being held in custody by Chiang Mai police since July 31st last may be running out of time to pay up for the criminal damage he caused in the early hours of July 30th to three cars owned by Thai locals in the Tha Pae area of the city. Police have said this week that if he fails to pay the ฿50,000 demanded in compensation, he may face the distinct possibility of going to prison.

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The American named as 34-year-old Jesse Edward Lee has been briefed by Thai police on his legal situation and indeed peril if he fails to pay the damages asked by the three owners of the cars whose windscreens he damaged in the early hours of July 30th while visiting Thailand and Chiang Mai as a tourist. He was arrested on July 31st at his hotel by the Black Hawk Detective unit in Chiang Mai after an outcry by residents in the Tha Pae area of the city when a video of the damaged cars went viral online.

The 34-year-old American man has been named as Jesse Edward Lee. He is now facing the very real prospect of Thai prison time as the patience of Thai police and victims is running thin for him to pay up for the vandalism spree and damage he caused in the quiet, residential area of Chiang Mai. It is believed that the American arrived in Chiang Mai on holidays at the end of July.

Arrested at his hotel in Chiang Mai on July 31st last

He was arrested by the Black Hawk detective unit the next day at his hotel. Mr Lee has reportedly now admitted to the crime saying that he did recall picking up rocks and throwing them at the cars on the night in question but his mind was not clear because he had been drunk. 

Police have shown him CCTV footage of himself committing the criminal acts

The incident occurred in the Tha Pae area of Chiang Mai and footage shows a drunk Mr Lee walking back to his hotel down what appears to be a quiet laneway at just before three in the morning. He then stops to pick up something and smashes the windscreen of the cars parked at the side of the lane. Police officers have shown him the footage so that he is fully conversant with the evidence against him and also the damage that he is responsible for. Video has emerged of the bespectacled American laughing and joking with Thai police officers as they assured him that they were endeavouring to be of assistance.

American repeatedly insists that he does not have the funds to pay for the damage caused

Police and prosecutors are offering him the benefit of a Thai legal procedure which allows a person ostensibly guilty of a criminal offence excluding loss of life or serious personal injury, the option of paying compensation to the victims where officials have the option of deciding it may be in the public interest not to pursue a prosecution on the matter. However, the American has repeatedly insisted that he does not have the funds required to pay for the damage to the cars that he caused. The amount in question is ฿50,000 which has been requested by the owners of the cars to compensate them.

Police have patiently explained to Mr Lee his legal situation and the consequences

Police have provided translators to Mr Lee and have been trying to impress on him the legal circumstances he finds himself in. They are also trying to explain that payment of the money required to compensate the victims will help his position. In western law, this is not an option and such requests are often misinterpreted by foreigners in Thailand lucky enough to be offered the opportunity under Thai law which is at the discretion of prosecutors and has been applied in a number of cases involving Americans and western tourists this year who have fallen foul of the law in Thailand.

Initially, it is understood that Mr Lee had told police that he does not recall causing the damage to the cars.

If the ฿50,000 is not paid, the American tourist tuned vandal could well be jailed for criminal damage

Over the last few days, Thai police have clarified that if Mr Lee ultimately fails to pay the sum required, he will face a possible jail term for criminal damage. He is now being held in the cells at the local police station in Chiang Mai but could be moved to the local prison if legal proceedings are processed and applied against him.

Local man arrested for defacing wall at the Chinese Consulate in Chiang Mai

In the latest news from Chiang Mai, a local man has been arrested for defacing a wall attached to the Chinese consulate in the northern Thai city. It is understood from a source that the act of vandalism has nothing to do with rising tensions and political situation in Hong Kong. Thai police suggest that it is likely that the preparator is suffering from a mental disorder.

Found lying on a pavement with a bag containing spray paint after complaint filed

The police chief in Chiang Mai, Police Major General Phichet Jiranantasin said that the man was found lying on the side of the pavement on the Mahidol road in the city with spray paint in a bag. Chinese consulate officials reportedly filed a complaint with police.

Sent to psychiatric hospital for mental health analysis

After questioning the man at the local police station in Chiang Mai, he was found to be incoherent and was sent by the police to the nearby Suan Prung Psychiatric Hospital to undergo tests and a mental health analysis.

American man held by police in Chinag Mai for Criminal Damage

+ An American man is running out of time to come up with ฿50,000 to pay compensation to car owners following a vandalism spree in whch he damaged 3 cars in the Tha Pae area of Chiang Mai two weeks ago.https://www.thaiexaminer.com/thai-news-foreigners/2019/08/13/american-jesse-edward-lee-chiang-mai-cars-criminal-damage-thai-police/Carla Boonkong reports from Chiang Mai

Posted by ThaiExaminer.com on Tuesday, August 13, 2019

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