Cop who hugged knife-wielding man in viral video speaks out

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Senior Sgt. Maj. Anirut Malee is the heroic police Bangkok police officer that the internet hailed for calming down a man that barged into the station with a knife.

The incident that took place on June 17 at Huai Khwang Police Station was captured on CCTV cameras and later went viral on social media.

People were moved by the kindness the policeman has shown the assailant who after talking calmly to the man, he gave him a hug.

In a phone interview on Friday Khaosod English, the officer said he was merely following a procedure taught to every police cadet, “talk first, shoot later.”

Anirut who has been a cop for 23 years said that he could have wrestled the man down and taken his knife away, but someone could have ended up hurt.

The officer said that when he heard shouts, he ordered all other policemen to leave and started talking with the intruder.

He said that he understood the man was stressed because his employer had cheated him of his salary and someone had recently stolen his guitar.

The police man said that he told the assailant “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.”

“I had to make him feel he could trusts me,” he added.

Anirut said he gave the assailant a hug because he’s a Muslim from Songkhla province and it is common for people to hug when greeting one another.

Anirut said he has succeeded previously to convince a suicidal person not to jump off a building.

Anirut said that he gave the man who was charged with carrying a weapon without permission a guitar as promised.