Cobra Venom

Attack by Syringe-Wielding Criminal

Bangkok Post, June 28, 2002

Woman stabbed with syringe of cobra venom
Four tissue grafts needed after ordeal
By Manop Thip-osod and AP

Police are looking for a man who stabbed a woman with a syringe containing cobra venom at a city car park this month.

Sukanya Dawandee
They have warned the public to be aware of their surroundings and to look out for men wielding syringes.

Sukanya Dawandee, 40, suffered muscular paralysis and inflammation of her right hand after being attacked by a man at Chulalongkorn University bookstore's car park near Siam Square on June 10.

Mrs Sukanya, who owns a rental apartment in Nakhon Pathom, said she needed four tissue implants after the attack. Doctors said she could have died.

Mrs Sukanya said she was sleeping in her car while waiting to pick up her daughter from school when she felt a sharp sting on the back of her hand, which was resting on the open window.

"I woke up and saw a man running away with a syringe," she said. Mrs Sukanya called for help immediately when she felt her breathing becoming weak. Her hand became painful, swollen and dark.

She was admitted to hospital where a test showed she was poisoned with cobra venom, which killed some of the tissue in the hand.

Bangkok PostMrs Sukanya has spent the last 20 days recovering.

"First, the doctors did not know what was wrong with me and gave me basic medical treatment.

"Later my right hand became seriously inflamed and I needed up to four tissue implants. The doctors said I could have died had I not sought help as quickly as I did," she said.

An initial attempt at surgery to graft new tissues failed and a second attempt was planned for yesterday, she said.

Deputy metropolitan police chief Pol Maj-Gen Jongrak Chuthanon said police still had no idea about the motive.

"The suspect must be a psychopath or might have done it as some kind of experiment. He did not seek the woman's belongings.

"We are treating it as attempted murder because cobra venom can cause death."

People should be aware of their surroundings even though no subsequent attacks were reported, he said.

Police would head to Satharn Saowapa snake farm today to gather information about snake poison. They believed the suspect must know how to take poison from snakes.

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