Phuket Police hunt serial masturbator
PHUKET: Phuket City Police are now searching for a man wanted for sexually harassing restaurant staff in Phuket Town after he exposed himself and masturbated in front of them four times in three days.
“We launched a search for him last night, but we have yet to find him. Our officers have been alerted to the car’s license plate number and have been searching areas around night entertainment venues,” Phuket City Police Superintendent Sermphan Sirikong told the Phuket Gazette today.
“We have caught a few people, parked along the bypass road, who were masturbating in their vehicles, but none of them were the man we are looking for,” he added.
The news follows a restaurant owner in Phuket Town making a public appeal yesterday for people to beware of a man who has repeatedly exposed himself in front of her Burmese staff and masturbated in front of them.
“It started on September 9, while we were preparing to close the restaurant. He pulled up in his car in front of the restaurant, opened the driver’s side window and started masturbating,” the restaurant owner told the Phuket Press Club yesterday.
There were two incidents involving the man masturbating in front of staff on September 10, she said.
“One of those times, he walked up to one of my staff members, pulled out his ‘thing’ and started masturbating right in front of her. When the staff member saw what he was doing and screamed, he ran back to his car and sped off,” she explained.
Staff at the restaurant described the masturbator as a well-dressed, good-looking Thai man in his 30s, driving a car fitted with Bangkok license plates bearing the number 7346.
The last time the man approached the restaurant was on September 11.
“My female workers were preparing to open the restaurant. According to the clock on our CCTV camera, he knocked on the door at 4:17am and asked if he could use our restroom, but then he pulled out his penis and started masturbating while still standing in the doorway,” the restaurant owner said.
“He had no clue he was caught by our CCTV,” she added.
One of the restaurateur’s Burmese staff members reported the man saying, “Don’t be afraid. Come with me, I will give you 500 baht.”
“He begged my workers to open the door. He said all this while still masturbating,” said the restaurateur.
“At 4:24am, my mother came back from the market. He saw her and then jumped in his car, which was still running, and drove away. That was the last time we saw him. I uploaded the CCTV photo onto my Facebook page that same day,” she added.
The restaurant owner said she had reported the incidents to Phuket City Police, but her complaint was not accepted, prompting her to give a public warning yesterday.
“We want the media to publish this man’s picture to warn women in Phuket to beware of him,” she said.
“I would also like employers who have female workers to watch out for him. We never know where he might turn up next,” she added
Sen Sgt Maj Suwit Yimsong, from the Phuket City Police radio room, said he could find no record of the restaurant owner filing a complaint.
“I was [previously] unaware of this issue, and I had not received any reports of similar disturbances from any other police stations in Phuket.
“Perhaps there was a misunderstanding. Police will investigate this, but they need the person who has been offended by the public indecency to file the complaint. Someone else cannot file a complaint like this on their behalf,” he explained.
Chalong Police told the Gazette that they, too, were unaware of the man’s antics. They have yet to determine whether or not he matches the description of either of the two men reported masturbating by the side of the road between Patong and Karon on August 19.
— Kritsada Mueanhawong
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