Bart Allen Helmus who when originally arrested by police last July in Pattaya was found with a gun and 200 bullets, had no intention of being taken back to Thai prison alive. What is notable about this story is how very nearly successful the escape bid was and the level of co-operation and deployment of resources that the inmates had mustered before executing their bid for freedom.

American drug dealer, Bart Allen Helmus, the 39 year old man who managed to escape from the holding cells at Pattaya Provincial court on Monday afternoon with his wife Sirinapha Wisetrit and 41 year old Thai drug dealer Noi Thon Nintet is reported to be in a coma after being delivered to a local hospital in Sa Kaeo province where the 3 inmates were recaptured between 1 pm and 3 pm yesterday afternoon. It is being reported that the dangerous fugitive’s heart stopped a number of times as doctors worked frantically to keep him alive. He is now reported to be on a ventilator having also suffered brain damage.

Thai police witnessed a moving scene in Sa Kaeo after Bart Allen Helmus shot himself as his Thai wife Sirinapha rushed to hold his hand (inset). Ms Sirinapha was then removed to the back of a police vehicle as her husband was brought out of the sugar plantation where the couple had been cornered, in an unconscious state. The American man whose heart stopped shortly afterwards at Crown Prince Hospital was later reported to be in a coma at the medical facility. Police have revealed that the three inmates were thwarted when they managed to intercept the 5th and final vehicle (top left onset), a black Toyota, left in Sa Kaeo which the escapees intended to use to cross the border into Cambodia. The investigation into the elaborate escape plot is still ongoing with many unanswered questions.

It has emerged that the escaped prison inmate held his Thai wife in his arms as both pressed their heads together and Helmus fired a single shot through his right temple at the high point of the drama on Wednesday afternoon.

Downfall of escape bid

It has also been revealed that the downfall of the escape bid was the seizure by Thai police of 5th and final escape vehicle left in position and which the escaped inmates were planning on using to cross the border into Cambodia.

It is being reported that the Kentuckian heart stopped a number of times after arrival at Sa Kaeo’s Crown Prince Hospital on Wednesday after turning his gun on himself and his 31-year-old Thai wife Sirinapha Wisetrit.

Earlier the Thai Examiner had reported that the US man was dead after local Thai sources suggested that this was the case. However, he is now reported by the hospital to be in a comatose state and in a serious condition in ICU according to Puwadol Kittiwattanasarn the director of the Crown Prince Hospital.

Ms Wisetrit was also taken to the hospital where she was reported to be receiving treatment for her injuries. She was able to walk away from yesterday’s murder-suicide pact with minor injuries. However, in a medical update, the hospital now suggests that she is suffering from bleeding in the brain and is said to be in serious condition. Doctors have also revealed that the woman was not pregnant.

Pitiful scene as wife held husband’s hand surrounded by police after he had shot himself

On Wednesday afternoon at a Sa Kaeo sugar plantation, police, who did not fire at the escapees, witnessed a pitiful scene as the young woman held the hands of her drug-dealing husband who exactly two days prior had repeatedly stabbed a Thai police officer at the Pattaya Provincial Court in a brutal attack that left the officer in a critical condition. Police today revealed that the police officer had refused to hand over his keys to Helmus.

Not going back to prison alive

The message on Wednesday as it was on Monday from Bart Allen Helmus was clear. He would die a free man and was not going back to Thai prison. He is reported to have attempted to kill both himself and his wife. Mr Helmus shot himself in the right temple of the head and was already comatose when taken from the scene by police and security forces. The bullet did not impact his wife’s head as intended but has let her injured according to the hospital.

Ms Sirinapha was then taken by police officers into the back of a waiting police pickup and fitfully cried as the unconscious body of her husband was brought out of the plantation. The couple were only 35 km from the border with Cambodia at that point.

Elaborate and sophisticated prison escape

It has also now been revealed that the prison escape was a more elaborate and sophisticated operation than first thought.

Police on Thursday are expected to give details that there were up to 5 vehicles involved in the escape attempt as the three inmates made their way eastwards towards the Cambodian border.

Last vehicle picked up by police at Sa Kaeo

It is understood that a network of accomplices left the cars including a bronze pickup, a white Mitsubishi sedan, a grey Honda sedan and a black Toyota at the different points on the planned itinerary in Chonburi province, Prachin Buri province and finally in Sa Kaeo province.

Unfortunately for the three inmates, the black vehicle in Sa Kaeo was intercepted and picked up by Thai police before the escapees reached it, forcing them to improvise which led them to make for the border on foot. It was their downfall.

Bart Allen Helmus plagued by a leg injury

It is understood that Mr Helmus while moving on foot, had developed a leg injury which stymied the group in making progress through the agricultural land as they desperately attempted to cross Sa Kaeo and reach the border. Mr Helmus is understood to have become erratic and frustrated by his injury, the oppressive heat and concern for Ms Sirinapha who was 3 months pregnant.

Thai drug dealer Mr Noi surrenders to police

It is at this point that the Thai drug dealer and escapee Noi Thon Nintet made the decision to surrender. This triggered the end of the escape bid.

Once Mr Noi was in police custody at 1 pm on Wednesday, a 10km net was spread to capture the American Thai couple which ended at 3 pm with the drama of Mr Helmus shooting himself after also reportedly turning the gun on his wife.

Continued investigation into the escape operation

Thai police are continuing their investigation into the dramatic events associated with the escape. Senior police officers have described Mr Helmus and those who assisted him, including another couple, as a network of small drug dealers.

This was the verdict yesterday from Police Lieutenant General Visanu Prasatthong, an assistant police chief actively involved in the investigation and yesterday’s operation.

Who supplied the gun and knife to the inmates? 

What police authorities need to find out now is how the drug dealer Bart Allen Helmus and the two other escapees managed to have a gun and a knife provided to them on Monday afternoon in the Pattaya Court holding cells and how they were able to break out of custody without any serious effort to impede them.

Further reading:

American escapee tried to kill his wife as police net closed on them in Sa Kaeo province as manhunt ended

American drug gangster escapes from custody in Pattaya with Thai wife in armed prison break

American man and Thai wife arrested for selling ‘ice’ in Pattaya after police swooped on Bang Lamung condo

American inmate in a coma after shooting in Sa Kaeo

+ American inmate, drug dealer in coma after shooting himself when police surrounded him and his Thai wife in Sa Kaeo – escapees only 35 km from border. Morris reports from Sa Kaeo province

Posted by on Thursday, November 7, 2019

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