Gang attacks Swedish tourist for defending waitress in Chiang Mai, Thailand

A Swedish tourist was brutally attacked by a gang of young men after he tried to stop them from assaulting a waitress at a karaoke bar in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand, on Friday. The gang also stole the victim’s gold necklace before throwing him into a canal.

Yesterday, police arrested three men of Tai Yai ethnicity (an ethnic group from Shan state in Myanmar) at a construction workers camp in Doi Saket district and detained them at Sam Kamphaeng Police Station under suspicion of assault. Police charged three suspects – 22 year old Sa Ong, 25 year old Daeng and 25 year old Angkham.

The suspects admitted to assaulting the Swedish man but denied stealing his gold necklace. They said their alleged harassment of the waitress was “just a joke.”

A relative of the victim’s girlfriend posted photos of the Swedish man’s injuries on Facebook with the caption…

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“My mother and her boyfriend travelled from Sweden for a trip to Thailand. On Friday (07/04/23) it was my mother’s boyfriend’s birthday. We arranged a birthday party for him at home with the family and then we went to a bar near our home in Sam Khamphaeng district, Chiang Mai province.

“Near the time we were going to leave, my mother’s Swedish boyfriend went to the toilet where he saw a group of men harassing a woman and trying to pull her into the bathroom. He went in to help and as he was making his way back to the table, the men followed him and attacked him.

“We all jumped in to help and we got hurt too. The men were aiming to steal the two baht gold necklace around the Swedish man’s neck. They mobbed him and pulled his necklace until it strangled him. They stole the necklace before throwing him into the canal behind the bar.

“It’s a good thing they weren’t armed with weapons. But everyone was injured. My uncle tried to help and they bit his finger until it was torn. He had to go to the hospital. Everyone tried to defend themselves from the crazy men until they finally fled on a motorbike. There were four assailants who fled with the gold necklace. After that we called the police and an ambulance.

“We took the waitress who was harassed to the police station. She kept crying and we couldn’t make out what she was saying. She kept saying she did not know the men. Then she got a phone call from one of the attackers, so it turns out she does know them… The perpetrators were all Thai Yai people.

“A foreigner who loves travelling Thailand has experienced a nightmare he never thought would happen. He fell into shock and was shaking. He thinks it will be his last visit to Thailand. From a birthday party that was supposed to be filled with happiness arose these unexpected events that will cause a lifelong nightmare.”

Uncle Boonlue, a 38 year old man who stepped in to help, ended up hospitalised for defending the Swedish man. He was punched, sustained bruises all over his body, and suffered a wound on his foot from glass fragments. But the worst wound was on his right ring finger, which was nearly completely bitten off. Doctors are afraid the wound will become infected, reports AmarinTV.

Uncle Boonlue’s wife Zaza said the reason the gang attacked the Swedish man is because he tried the stop them from harassing a woman.

Police say they are collecting evidence to present to Chiang Mai Provincial Court to issue further arrest warrants to catch the remaining suspects in the case.

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leah

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.

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