A hero cop who disarmed a knife-wielding intruder by hugging him has met actor Russell Crowe during the star’s stay in Thailand.
Anirut Malee was seen on CCTV calmly approaching the erratic local and persuading him to hand over the weapon at the police station in Bangkok.
New Zealand born actor Russell Crowe said that Anirut was his ‘hero’ after footage of the incident was shared internationally, with comparisons made between how the cop handled the situation and what could have happened in other countries – with officers having the potential to open fire.
The pair met on Thursday October 21 in Bangkok while the Hollywood star films a movie in the Thai capital alongside co-star Zac Efron.
Footage shows the incident on CCTV followed by Russell and Anirut meeting next to the city’s river.
Russell called Anirut his hero when they met and hugged. He then asked about the knife-wielding man’s whereabouts. Officer Anirut said he’s back with his son down south.
Russell then praised Anirut and said ‘incidents like this normally end in tragedy’.
He said ‘it’s very easy to draw a gun and just shoot, like many cases around the world’ but praised Anirut as he ‘ended it without any violence’.
Russell said Anirut has ‘a heart of compassion for fellow humans’ which is ‘what the world needs’.
The pair then took selfies together and Russell made a donation to Anirut’s charity. The cop thanked the star for honouring him and said that he would help if he ever needed anything in Thailand.
The original clip was recorded at a police station in the Huai Khwang district of Bangkok in 2017.
Anirut was seen talking to the 45-year-old man who stormed into the building with a knife. The officer calmed him down and persuaded him to hand over the knife. He walked over to give the distressed man a big hug.
Anirut said the intruder had been working a musician before losing his job and starting work as a security guard. He was angry because he had not been paid and also had his guitar stolen.
He stormed into the police station holding a knife as a last resort.
Anirut said: ‘The man said he was stressed out. I said to him, ‘I understand. Otherwise, you wouldn’t do this. We’re from the same region. If there’s anything I can do to help, please tell me, bro’.’
Anirut calmed the man down by talking to him in the dialect of the southern region where they both grew up with.
The officer said they could go out for a meal together and also offered the man a guitar he owned – as long as he put the knife down first.
After a big hug, fellow officers fetched the man a glass of water. He was then sent to have a mental health check at Somdet Chaophraya Hospital.