French tourists attacked for parking in ‘wrong place’

PHUKET: Chalong Police are on the hunt for a man presumed to be a ‘tuk-tuk / taxi driver’ who allegedly set upon a French family with a beach umbrella in the Kata area of Phuket on Saturday evening.

The family, an elderly couple on holiday with their 44-year old son, his wife and their three children, aged 14 months, seven and nine, claim they were attacked when they parked their rented car along the Kata Beach road.

The family claims they were confronted by a man outside the Karon Municipality offices, at the southern end of Kata Beach.

He was aggressive and told them to move the vehicle, the family said.

After checking the area for no-parking signs, and seeing none, the family refused to move their car and began unloading their beach items.

Moments later, the man returned and assaulted them with the shaft of a beach umbrella, breaking the 44-year-old man’s arm. The 68-year-old father also sustained numerous bruises in the attack.

Many people saw the incident, which occurred at about 5pm, but no-one went to the family’s aid, the victims claimed.

The family escaped in their car, stopping at the Kata Palm Resort to recover from their ordeal. Staff at the resort alerted paramedics.

The family reported the attack to police on Sunday. Today, Chalong police invited the victims to study police file photos of known criminals in the area of the attack.

The victims have apparently identified their attacker and police are believed to be tracking him down.

Phuket’s public transport shortcomings have been been the subject of bitter complaints from local residents and foreign tourists for at least a decade.

The complaints have intensified sharply this month, to the point where public outrage could culminate in mob action by victims of the system.

Following publication of a story by the Phuket Gazette on Dec 12, in which taxi drivers were alleged to have threatened and verbally abused staff and tour company representatives at the four-star Centara Karon Resort, the Gazette Online’s Phuket Forum saw the first in what has turned out to be several hundred complaints from angry local residents and foreign tourists.

For related stories on the island’s transport woes, particularly as they relate to tuk-tuks and airport taxis, please click here and here.

— Gazette Reporters

Phuket News
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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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