In just about every corner of the world, hitting at killing someone with a vehicle would be cause for a court date and a possible jail sentence, more so if that person happens to be a police officer. Dragging a police officer under your wheels for 200 meters and fleeing the scene afterwards would be cause for a massive manhunt and, in some corners of the world, a "last stand" or a "furtive move" possibly resulting in worst case of "suicide" anyone's seen.
And yet Vorayuth Yoovidhya would have been spared the remote possibility of going to jail after his literal run-in with the law if it wasn't for public outrage and a bright light shone on the double standards those with sufficient wealth enjoy:
Vorayuth Yoovidhya, a grandson of the late founder of Red Bull, billionaire Chaleo Yoovidhya, had initially fled the scene but later confessed to hitting the policeman, police said. He was released hours later on 500,000 baht ($16,000) bail. Though Vorayuth has yet to appear in court, there seemed little faith among the public that justice would be served. "Jail is only for the poor. The rich never get punished. Find a scapegoat," said one of a stream of comments posted on the popular Thai website, Panthip.com. Another on news site Manager.co.th read: "He'll probably just get a suspended sentence. What's the cost of a life?" Suspended jail terms do seem to be the norm for politically powerful or well-connected Thais.It's not just well-connected Thais who enjoy the special kid-gloves treatment given to them. Hollywood celebs are notorious for engaging in all sorts of stupid, dangerous and illegal activities that would have the average person placed under the jail. It's no secret that having obscene levels of wealth and plenty of high-placed connections offers the potential for someone to either buy their way out of a criminal case or have a few people who know people pull some strings for them. It's how Lindsay Lohan can rack up slaps on the wrist and visits to detox centers for drunk driving, drug abuse and a myriad of other criminal acts while two ordinary black women wind up with life sentences for allegedly helping three teens steal $11. Having piles of money and plenty of pull with the right people does have its perks after all.