Australian arrested over Phuket restaurant brawl

Photo via the Phuket Express


Police arrested an Australian man for his involvement in the brawl that broke out between foreign staff and foreign customers at Atlas Restaurant in the Patong area of Phuket in southern Thailand early on Monday morning, reports the Phuket Express.

Police arrested 34 year old “Karen” of Australian nationality who admitted to starting the fight by throwing a bottle at the foreign staff – Mohammad Jehad Mohammad Alomari from Jordan, Abderahman Mohammad El Fawal from Egypt and Wai Lu Soe from Myanmar.

Karen said he threw the bottle out of anger after being told to wait for his food, just as the foreign staff testified to police when they arrived at the restaurant. The rowdy Aussie and his four pals had already fled the scene.

The accused admitted to starting the fight but blamed his violent behaviour on alcohol. He says it was out of character for him.

The foreign staff sat down with Karen and both sides apologised to each other. However, Patong Police said everyone involved would face criminal charges relating to fighting and possibly a yellow or even red card under Phuket Police’s new two-strike system for unruly foreigners.

ORIGINAL STORY: Brawl erupts between foreign staff and foreign tourists at Phuket restaurant (video)

A violent brawl erupted between three foreign staff members at a restaurant in the Patong area of Phuket, southern Thailand, and five drunk foreign tourists in the early hours of this morning.

Partygoers notified Patong Police Station that a group of foreign tourists and a group of foreign restaurant staff were attacking each other with chairs at Atlas Restaurant on Soi Sansabai.

By the time police arrived, the five tourists had dispersed, but police got to hear the staff’s version of events.

Police spoke to three foreign staff members at Atlas restaurant involved in the brawl including Mohammad Jehad Mohammad Alomari of Jordanian nationality, Abderahman Mohammad El Fawal of Egyptian nationality and Wai Lu Soe of Burmese nationality.

The staff said that a group of five drunk foreign tourists came to the restaurant and tried to order food and said they needed the food “quickly.”

According to the staff, the tourists became displeased when they were told they needed to wait in the queue like everyone else.

The tourists hurled verbal abuse and then threw a water bottle at the employees, said the staff, leading to an “altercation” which ended in a physical fight and chair bashing between the two parties. After the fight, the tourists dispersed before police arrived at the scene, said the staff.

In a short clip circulating online, one man is pictured violently attacking another with a metal pole. It’s not clear if he is a staff member or a tourist, or what happened in the moments prior.

Police took photos at the scene to record the incident and are now looking to locate the drunk foreign tourists in the fight so they can interrogate everyone involved and find out the facts.

As of yet, none of the five foreign tourists involved in the brawl have reported anything to the police.

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Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.