PATONG: A bus driver employed by Seatran Travel was arrested Thursday for attacking a Paradise Complex business owner with an iron bar over a parking dispute. Rick Hooper, the new director of Simple Computers, told the Gazette that he and his pregnant wife, Chatchada, went to their car parked outside the office, and found that it was blocked by two tour buses. “I went to one bus to ask the guy inside to move it,” Rick said. “I tapped on the window to get his attention. While I was tapping, he came down, and I went to the door to talk to him. “He held up an iron bar and hit me on the head. We then went to the [Royal Paradise] hotel management and called the police. After the police arrived, he moved the bus.” After getting his head stitched at the Patong Hospital, Mr Hooper went with his wife to the Kathu Police Station to file a complaint. The driver, Nikom Ponkeaw, filed a counter-complaint against Mr Hooper. “I parked at a place designated for tour buses,” he told the Gazette. “I was sleeping in the bus when an angry man outside hit the window and started making obscene getsures. “I went to the door and opened the window, and he tried to get into the bus. I got angry. The guy was taller than me. So I picked up an iron bar and hit him on the head.” Pol Cap Serm Kwannimid of the Kathu Police Station said, “I took Nikom to court yesterday [Friday]. He confessed to the assault, and received a fine of 2,000 baht plus one year’s probation.” Krisda Panichyanondh, resident manager of the Royal Paradise Hotel, said that this was the first time he had seen an attack over a parking dispute at the complex. “I accept that our hotel has a lack of parking,” he said. “But the bus driver parked in the right area, which has been designated temporarily for bus parking. “I think the problem was that they tried to fix the situation by themselves. We have suggested to Mr Hooper that if there are any problems about the car park, he should ask the security guard for help, rather than trying to handle the situation by himself,” K. Krisda added.
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