Three Patong tuk-tuk drivers have been charged after assaulting a foreign tourist in a dispute over the fare. The Phuket News reports that the incident happened outside a resort on Rath-U-Thit 200 Pi Road, in the early hours of Sunday, October 8.
A video of the altercation was posted online and Patong Police have confirmed that 3 drivers have been charged with “jointly causing harm to another person”. The assailants have been named as 29 year old ‘Anusorn’, who police tracked down through CCTV footage, 26 year old Abhisit and 28 year old Nasrallah.
Anusorn was the first one picked up and taken to Patong Police Station, where he then provided officers with the identities of the other two drivers.
According to Anusorn, he picked up his passenger, a tourist from Saudi Arabia, at the corner of Soi Sansabai and Rath-U-Thit 200 Pi Road at around 6.15am. The tourist asked to be taken to a hotel near Kalim Circle and both men agreed on a fare of 200 baht.
Once they arrived at the hotel, the tourist realised it was the wrong place and asked to be driven to a hotel on Rath-U-Thit 200 Pi Road. But Anusorn told him the fare would now be 400 baht. However, the tourist refused to pay double the original amount and would only give him 300 baht.
At this point, Anusorn called Abhisit and Nasrallah for help. According to police, the three drivers attempted to negotiate with the victim and an argument ensued. When the tourist grabbed the keys of the tuk-tuk, the 3 drivers proceeded to assault him.
Video footage of the incident shows hotel staff intervening to lead the tourist away from the drivers. The Phuket News reports that as staff members are attempting to hold him up and lead him away, two of the tuk-tuk drivers can be seen kicking him. One can be seen landing a kick near the man’s face, while another kicks him in the stomach.
In addition to being charged, police say they are liaising with the Phuket Land Transport Office to have the drivers’ licences suspended.
SOURCE: The Phuket News