Wednesday , December 7 2022

Negotiator stops police officer robbing gold shops from killing himself


It took a senior police officer 15 minutes to talk a suspect into dropping the rifle he used to rob gold shops in central Vietnam.

Colonel Dang Ngoc Son, deputy director of Thua Thien-Hue Province Police Department, was informed about a gold shop robbery in the province last Sunday afternoon.

As he arrived on the scene in Dong Ba Market, the suspect had fled.

The suspect was later confirmed as Ngo Van Quoc, 38, an officer working at Binh Dien prison in Huong Tra Town of Thua Thien-Hue.

Nguyen Van Quoc calls his family from a park after robbing two gold shops in Thua Thien-Hue Province, July 31, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Van An

Nguyen Van Quoc calls his family from a park after robbing two gold shops in Thua Thien-Hue Province, July 31, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Van An

Around 12:30 p.m. that day, wearing a police uniform, Quoc took an AK47 rifle with him to two gold shops at the market, threatened staff, and shot five times at the glass shelves where gold items were displayed.

He took the items, threw them into the street, and shouted: “Gold for the poor,” according to eyewitnesses.

He repeated the stunt for 10 minutes before leaving the scene, walking along Tran Hung Dao Street in front of the market to reach Trinh Cong Son Park, where he called his family, according to police.

He still had the gun with him in the park.

Hundreds of police officers were rushed to the area around the park along with nearby fire trucks.

The moment he reached the park, Son requested all vehicles to turn off their sirens, as he believed that would affect the suspect’s mental stability.

Quoc, still clinging to his weapon, demanded to talk face to face with an official of the highest rank, which meant Son.

Colonel Dang Ngoc Son (L) prepares to negotiate with prison warden Ngo Van Quoc to pursuade him to drop his rifle after robbing gold shops in Hue, July 31, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Vo Thanh

Colonel Dang Ngoc Son (L) prepares to negotiate with prison warden Ngo Van Quoc to pursuade him to drop his rifle after robbing gold shops in Hue, July 31, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Vo Thanh

“Anyone in my position would do the same because if we had not followed his request, he could have gone mad and the consequence could have been serious as he still had 10 bullets left in his rifle,” Son said.

Son approached Quoc on his own. Standing around 10-15 meters away, he started talking the suspect into surrendering.

“The first thing he said when seeing me was ‘I know you, Mr. Son.’”

“If you know me, then you should trust me and listen to me. I can guarantee that if you stop here, you will be handled with leniency and I’ll take you to the car and no one would do anything to you,” Son told the suspect.

He added that Quoc showed signs of agitation and wanting to commit suicide.

I told him: “It would be best if you drop your weapon right now. Think about your family, your wife and children. All I ask is that you harm nobody here. As for you, if you die right now then it’s done for you, but what about your loved ones that are still living?”

After around 15 minutes of negotiation, Quoc agreed to drop his weapon and surrender though he allowed no one near him.

Son stepped closer and seized the rifle the moment he got the opportunity and took Quoc to the police car.

Police and firefighters surround the police car in which Nguyen Van Quoc is kept in Thua Thien-Hue Province, July 31, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Vo Thanh

Police and firefighters surround a police car in which prison warden and gold shop robber Ngo Van Quoc is being held in Thua Thien-Hue Province, July 31, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Vo Thanh

Colonel Pham Van Toan, head of Thua Thien-Hue Police Department’s Criminal Police Division, said his team had prepared to take shoot Quoc if necessary.

“In case Quoc had insisted on fighting back after getting injured, we would have had to take him down,” said Toan.

Quoc is under detention for further investigation.

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