Tourists witness enraged man beating van driver

PHUKET: Two Phuket tourists were whisked away from a violent confrontation after their van driver was threatened at gunpoint and beaten by a road-enraged driver in Thalang.

A man, who police declined to name, cut off the tourist van off on Monday, demanding that the driver get out of the vehicle to account for his driving.

Van driver Thatchai Saisa-ard, 33, and the tour guide accompanying the two tourists from the airport to a resort, at first refused to leave the vehicle. However, he got out of the van after the man attempted to break the windshield.

“They had a long quarrel on the street before the car driver made a phone call to his friends. He then removed a handgun from his car and attacked the van driver,” said Lt Col Watcharin Jirattikarnwiwat of the Tah Chat Chai Police.

“Shortly thereafter, about five or six of his friends turned up on their motorbikes and joined in beating Mr Thatchai. The tour guide ran away, but the tourists witnessed the entire attack.”

At this point, villagers came out to help and called the police. They also helped the tourists get away from the violence, Col Watcharin said.

“When police arrived, the car driver presented himself. However, his friends had already fled the scene. The man was charged for assault and illegal possession of a firearm in public,” Col Watcharin said.

— Thawit Bilabdullar

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