Thai tourist beaten, stabbed, robbed

PHUKET CITY (SAPHAN HIN): Police have issued an arrest warrant for a motorcycle taxi driver who assaulted and robbed a passenger early yesterday morning and left him bleeding in the middle of the road.

A local Thai-language newspaper identified the victim as 43-year-old Nakhon Sawan resident Kittiporn Jongsiri, holder of a master’s degree from prestigious Chulalongkorn University.

From his bed at Vachira Phuket Hospital, Mr Kittiporn told investigators that he had arrived at the Phuket City bus terminal that night on his way to visit his girlfriend in Patong.

When a motorcycle taxi driver passed and offered him a ride, he accepted. But rather than head directly to Patong, the pair first went to a karaoke bar behind Wat Saensuk. By the time they had paid the bill, the motorcycle taxi driver said he was too drunk to drive all the way to Patong. He therefore offered to let Mr Kittiporn stay at his flat on Saphan Hin Soi 5, saying he would take him to Patong the following day.

When they arrived on Soi 5, however, the taxi driver began kicking and punching Mr Kittiporn before drawing a 12-inch knife and slashing Mr Kittiporn on the top of the head and on the right arm.

Pleading for mercy, Mr Kittiporn told the motorcycle taxi driver he could take whatever he wanted in exchange for sparing his life.

The taxi driver, later identified as 28-year-old Jaroernsak Rungkhochaporn, ran off into a nearby house with 3,500 baht in cash along with the victim’s mobile phone and laptop computer.

Mr Kittipong was left bleeding profusely in the middle of Soi 5. His calls for help were answered by local residents, who dialed 191.

A team of police led by Phuket Provincial Police Commander Apirak Hongtong responded to the call and workers from the Kusoldharm Foundation rushed the victim to hospital.

Maj Gen Apirak ordered Phuket City Police to track down Mr Jaroernsak. A search of his room on Soi 5 uncovered the stolen computer and mobile phone, which have already been returned to the victim.

Police have issued an arrest warrant for Mr Jaroernsak, who remains at large.

Phuket News
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