His name is Police Sargent Adul. Watch this video and you will clearly see that a grenade was fired at police lines and hit the shield of a colleague. Adul hardly hesitated. He got up and attempted to kick the grenade away. Seconds later the grenade exploded and he was hidden by a cloud of smoke.
I first saw this video on a BBC World report by Jonathan Head. I had already heard claims by some that the policeman had dropped the grenade and blew himself up. This video clearly shows that this was not the case. As the video wasn’t available online at that time, I quickly put together these screen shots to show what really happened.
Suthep says BBC screenshots show policeman dropped grenade - RT @zaowaluck: “สุเทพ”อ้างภาพบีบีซีตำรวจทำระเบิดตกเอง ไม่มีใครขวางทำร้าย— Richard Barrow in Thailand (@RichardBarrow) February 18, 2014
Shortly afterwards, I spotted some Thais tweeting my screenshot, but they had changed my words to say that the images clearly showed that the policeman had dropped the grenade and blew himself up. Then I got a call from a friend to say that protest leader Suthep was up on stage showing my screen shots and saying that the policeman had blown himself up. This is the same man that said protesters are not armed.
Fortunately, some Thais are honest and recognized the heroic act of this policeman in his valiant attempt to save his comrades.
As to the man himself, @ittipat_Rw tweeted last night that the policeman is in a safe condition and doctors say that he won’t lose his leg. That is really good news. I just hope that he now gets the recognition that he deserves.
I know I was hoping for too much to have this image on the front page of The Nation and the Bangkok Post this morning. They did both have the exact same picture showing the aftermath of the explosion. But neither paper had it as the lead story.