BANGKOK: Life in Thailand can sometimes get a bit frustrating for expats when things don’t quite work out as they would in their home countries. This, coupled with the booze-heavy lifestyle enjoyed by a fair percentage of Westerners living in the Kingdom, occasionally leads to “Angry Farang Syndrome”.
A prime example occurred one afternoon last month outside Thong Lor Police Station. Station Superintendent Col Suthin Sapphuang was sitting in his office around 3 pm, when he heard a commotion from outside the station. When he got downstairs, he found the noise emanated from a large middle-aged Westerner who was busy beating the inside of a police van with such fury, that none of the watching officers dared to go near.
Col Suthin ordered his deputy and three inspectors to go and try and calm the 50-year-old man, identified by name in the original report, but referred to here only as “the Aussie”.
After the officers’ efforts to calm the Aussie down failed, they decided that a dose of pepper spray might do the trick. After the Aussie was liberally doused with the noxious spray, police decided he was calm enough for them to dare open the door.
However, as soon as police had the Aussie out of the truck, he exploded again, freeing himself from the clutches of the officers and going on a rampage, chasing and punching as many policemen as he could.
The enraged Australian managed to injure a number of officers before he was finally overpowered, in the process of which he, disturbingly, lost his trousers. The photo of the incident in the Thai press shows the Aussie with his trousers round his ankles, his dignity somewhat spared by a small superimposed red dot.
The Aussie was bundled to the ground by the officers, and the group then rolled into the gutter. In acknowledgement to the Aussie’s determination, it took six officers to keep him subdued long enough to get the cuffs on.
The Aussie was initially arrested following a complaint by a taxi driver that the Australian had stolen his cab. The taxi driver, Phanomphon Pranison, 40, told police that earlier that day he had picked up the Aussie opposite Sukhumvit Soi 16. The Aussie didn’t say where he wanted to go, but when they got to opposite Soi 22, the Aussie asked to stop so he could go to 7-Eleven. A few moments later, the Aussie got back in the cab clutching two bottles of beer. In hot pursuit was a member of staff from the shop shouting that the Aussie had not paid for the beer. When Mr Phanomphon got out of the car, the Aussie climbed into the driver’s seat and took off in the taxi, Mr Phanomphon said.
Mr Phanomphon reported the crime and police soon caught up with the Aussie, putting him in the cells at Thong Lor Police station. The Aussie, however, did not take his confinement lightly. He caused such a commotion that police began to fear for the safety of other prisoners, or worryingly, that other prisoners would take it upon themselves stop to the Aussie’s antics. They decided to take him to the cells at nearby Phra Khanom Court, which is when he began attacking the police truck.
The Aussie was initially to be charged with theft and immigration offences. The report did not say if any charges would be added for his post-arrest behavior.
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