Police in Thailand have exchanged shots with a man during a gun battle that "got out of hand" at a market in Bangkok. The market, selling mainly fruit, dried cuttlefish and other junk, was left in tatters, with damage to property thought to be in the region of 600 THB (18 dollars).
Problems arose when a Western man turned up at a police station to reclaim a motorcycle that officers had impounded, after it had been 'parked suspiciously'. When asked for identification, the man acted peculiarly, and the desk staff decided to search him.
It was then that the trouble really started. The man pulled out an AK49 assault rifle, ripped off his shirt, and donned a bandana, whilst muttering something about Vietnam. He shot at police, motorists, passers-by, dogs and an aeroplane, missing everything by miles.
As police returned fire, the man threw several hand grenades, and shouted that he hated durians, a pungent-smelling Southeast Asian fruit that can empty bus and railway stations if wind conditions are right. He then opened fire once more, emptying a hundred rounds into a durian vendor sitting in front of a nearby 7-Eleven.
The man, thought to be American longtime-Bangkok resident John Rambotan, escaped and attacked more fruitsellers in other parts of the city, and was last seen getting onto a bus headed for the provinces.
Police have issued a description of the man who is said to be "Western with bullets slung around his shoulders". No-one was available for comment, as everyone at the police station was sleeping.