Frock-blocked: Hit-and-run cop who killed doctor rejected by monkhood

Lance Cpl. Norwich Buadok has his head shaved Monday in preparation for being ordained as a monk after he killed a woman crossing a street. Photo: Sanook
Lance Cpl. Norwich Buadok has his head shaved Monday in preparation for being ordained as a monk after he killed a woman crossing a street. Photo: Sanook

Religious authorities today took the unusual step of preventing a cop seeking atonement for killing a woman from being ordained as a monk. 

Under pressure to intervene, the National Office of Buddhism cited bylaws of the monkhood’s organizing body to bar Lance Cpl. Norawich Buadok, who killed a doctor with an unregistered motorcycle as she crossed a street, from being ceremonially ordained today because he was involved in an ongoing criminal investigation.

“The Sangha Supreme Council clearly states that criminal suspects cannot be ordained,” director Sipbavorn Kaew-ngam told reporters, citing the relevant rule of the Supreme Sangha Council.

Such ordainment is often a shortcut to public redemption – and avoiding consequences – for those of status. Up until this afternoon’s announcement, eyes were rolling across Bangkok as calls for systemic change were met with the usual scripted responses.

Overnight, city workers hastily added more lines to zebra crossing on Phaya Thai Road where 30-year-old Waraluck Supawatjariyakul, widely referred to in the media as “Doctor Kratai,” was killed Friday when Norawich barreled into her on a Ducati Monster before fleeing the scene.

The new lines were painted on both sides of the road 50 meters from the crossing in front of the Bhumirajanagarindra Kidney Institute Hospital.

In a macabre twist, Norwich may have left the accident in search of an eye doctor to check his “blurry vision” – only to get an appointment with his late victim. According to leaked images of an appointment slip said to be from a hospital insider, Norawich went to the nearby Police General Hospital where he was given an appointment with Waraluck, who worked there part-time. 

The massive furor that erupted settled into frustration and resignation after Norawich, who has been charged with fatal reckless driving, posed for a photo op shaving his head riverside at Wat Pariwat Ratchasongkram. 

He was joined by his cop father, Sub. Lt. Nikom Buadok, who also wai’d for as long as photographers were shooting the moment.

“How dare you get ordained? Police these days do things that are disgusting in the eyes of the people. More reviled than anywhere else in the world!” Facebooker Meenoy Peerayot wrote in a comment.

It’s a scripted cycle of contrition that has helped past high-profile offenders avoid or minimize accountability. 

In 2015, D-lister actress Anna Reese donned nun whites for seven days after she killed a sleeping cop with her car and fled the scene. A year later, a businessman who killed two grad students with his speeding Mercedes shaved his head bald so that he could enter his not guilty plea in a monk’s robes. Suthep Thaugsuban, whose street protests paved the way for the 2014 coup d’etat, “retired” from politics into the monkhood, at least until he quit and tried to reenter politics.

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