BANGKOK: Three drug suspects - including an American - shot and stabbed their way out of a Thai court before brazenly fleeing in a pick-up truck, police said Tuesday (Nov 5).
The three were still on the loose more than 24 hours after breaking out of a Pattaya court holding room on Monday, police told AFP.
Officers were combing the seedy beach resort city, located two hours southeast of Bangkok.
"If they resist ... officials have to carry out decisive measures," said Krissana Pattanacharoen, national police office spokesman.
The escapees are Bart Allen Helmus, an American, his Thai wife Sirinapa Wisetrit and Thai male suspect Noi Nilthes, reported the Bangkok Post, citing court documents.
The couple was facing death penalty charges for drug trafficking, although sentences are rarely carried out.
Krissana said their relatives had been contacted to try and urge them to surrender and avoid a violent showdown.
Authorities said the Thai man had somehow got hold of a gun and knife that he used to attack a police officer allowing the trio to escape.
The officer was recovering, Krissana said.
Thailand is both a producer and major transit hub for drugs.
Much of regional drug manufacturing takes place in the Golden Triangle, a remote border region where Myanmar, Laos and Thailand all meet.
But busts at the country's busy airports frequently grab headlines.
Thai authorities said Tuesday that a Kenyan woman was arrested on Saturday for swallowing bags of cocaine weighing 1.2kg.