American tourist, tuk-tuk driver charged for fighting

PHUKET: An American tourist and a tuk-tuk driver were fined 2,000 baht each after they quarreled and landed blows on each other outside a hotel in Patong yesterday.

A video of the incident, recorded by a passerby, was shared on social media. The video showed the tourist and driver arguing and fighting in front of Poppa Hotel at Patong Beach.

The tourist, Nicholas Martin De Haan, 28, was visiting Phuket with his girlfriend, Emma Frances.

Police were able to apprehend the driver, Burin Sukhontaros, 26, on Prabaramee Road the same day.

“We brought Mr De Haan and Mr Burin to talk at the police station. Mr Haan admitted that he was at fault for not paying the fare that he had initially negotiated with the driver,” said Ekkarat Plaiduang, a traffic policeman in Patong.

“Mr Burin informed us that while he was parked at Rat-U-Thit 200 Phi Rd, Mr Haan and his girlfriend asked to be driven to their hotel in Soi Jintana. The agreed upon fare was 200 baht. However, when they arrived at their destination, Mr De Haan only gave the driver 40 baht. He admitted to being drunk at the time, and the two of them then got into a fight,” said Mr Ekkarat.

Ms Frances was not injured during the altercation.

Both men were charged with ‘quarreling in a public place’.

— Kritsada Mueanhawong

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