Angry driver assaults Phuket gas station employee

PHUKET: Police have summoned a gas station employee and a car owner for questioning after a video clip of the driver assaulting the employee surfaced on social media yesterday.

The CCTV clip (click here) shows a black Honda with licence plate number 5577 driving up to a Shell gas station in Tah Chat Chai about 6pm yesterday. After talking to the attendant on duty, the car owner drove off without getting his tank filled.

After some time, the driver returned to the station, got out of his car and kicked the staffer down to the ground.

The attack was reportedly prompted by the attendant’s refusal to fill up the driver’s tank as he did not agree to turn off his car engine.

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After the video went viral on social media, a Facebook user named Siri Kwanmongkol, believed to be the owner of the car, posted an apology online. His Facebook post read:

“I would like to apologize to everyone, especially the gas station attendant involved. I parked my car to get my tank filled, but I didn’t hear him say anything as I was listening to music and the volume was very high. I kept waiting for him to fill the tank, but when he didn’t, I rolled down the window to ask him why. He said it was because I didn’t turn off the engine. He looked angry so I told him to remove the nozzle from my car and left. What happened afterward is my fault and I went back to personally apologize for it.”

No charges have been pressed so far, as police are still investigating the matter.

“We have the names of both parties and have called them in for ‘negotiation’. We haven’t been able to reach the gas station employee, but are working to ensure swift action,” Lt Col Watcharin Jirattikarnwiwat of the Tah Chat Chai Police told the Phuket Gazette.

The Department of Energy Business (DOEB) announced on May 29 that gas station attendants are legally responsible for ensuring that drivers turn off their engines and put away their cell phones at the pump (story here).

Disobeying regulations carries a maximum penalty of 100,000 baht, a year in prison, or both. However, despite the importance of this safety measure, DOEB officials have said that strict enforcement will not take place until 2018.

— Kongleaphy Keam

Phuket News

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