Father hit, kicked small son ‘out of love’

Mr Keng and his wife leave the public park where he shared his side of the story, in Muang district, Nakhon Ratchasima, on Monday. (Photo by Prasit Tangprasert)

NAKHON RATCHASIMA – A poorly educated 33-year-old man who was filmed hitting his young son and kicking the boy outside a restaurant has explained he only did it because he loves the boy so much.

The man, identified only as Keng, met reporters on Monday after surveillance camera footage from outside the Shabuya Shabu buffet restaurant in Muang district spread on social media, showing him hitting his 5-year-old son hard on the back and then kicking him so hard the child was lifted in the air.

“It was really an overreaction, but I only did it because I love my child so much,” he said referring to his third child, a kindergartener.

He said the incident happened Saturday evening. He was among 10 vendors and their families his employer rewarded with a free meal at a restaurant he could never himself afford.

While his family was still eating the boy wandered off. He went outside to look for him, afraid his young son would go out onto the road and be run over.

He spent a long time searching before finally spotting him in the parking lot of the restaurant. He suddenly went mad, overreacting, and hit and kicked the boy, as recorded by the cameras.

“I was afraid that something could have happened to the child,” Mr Keng said.

He said he did not finish primary schooling. His wife suffered from a brain disease and had weak limbs. She stopped working over two years ago. He had two children at school and another two in kindergarten.

Mr Keng apologised, saying he was the sole provider, earning money as a milk vendor.

He earned a daily wage, plus small commissions. He needed at least 500 baht a day to support his family, but after the video clip went viral he was suspended from work.

Mr Keng said he loved his children very much and he had never beaten any of them like that before. The son he kicked suffered small bruises. He had applied a medicated cream and the child was already recovered and living a normal life.

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