PHUKET CITY (Kom Chad Luek/Gazette): A Dutch tourist is recovering in Bangkok Phuket Hospital after being stabbed twice by a knife-wielding thief outside the Downtown Market on Ranong Rd last night.
The tourist, 51-year-old Thomas De Klerk, was shopping at the market with his wife Maria Kroezen at the time of the attack, staff at the hospital told the Gazette.
The victim and his wife were loading goods into a tuk-tuk about 50 meters from the entrance to the market at about 10:30 pm when the thief ran up and ripped the victim’s fanny pack from around his waist.
Mr De Klerk gave chase and caught up with the man. The pair were fighting for possession of the pack when the thief pulled out a knife and stabbed De Klerk twice, once in the left hand and once in the abdomen, slicing through his bladder.
The thief then fled with the bag, which contained 20 euros in cash, a camera, credit card, cosmetics and other personal effects, the victim told Phuket City Police.
Mr De Klerk described his attacker as an Asian man about 1.7 meters tall, wearing a long-sleeved, collarless t-shirt and a hat.
Darkness and the speed at which everything happened made it impossible for him to give a more accurate description, he told police.
The victim was rushed to Bangkok Phuket Hospital, where he remains in the ICU.
Staff at the hospital said De Klerk and his wife were on a one-week holiday, staying at the Andaman Beach Resort in Patong.
The couple were scheduled to fly out on December 1, but will now stay on the island until Mr De Klerk is strong enough to travel, hospital staff said.
Remarkably, the latest victim in a protracted wave of violence against foreign tourists in Thailand said he still felt good about Phuket.
Hospital staff quoted him as saying that such unfortunate events can happen anytime, anywhere.
Phuket City Police Superintendent Nos Svettalekha told the Gazette this morning that a reported round-up of about 100 Burmese laborers from the same general area where the stabbing took place was unrelated to the attack on De Klerk.
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