Thai police were called to an incident on Sunday morning when a partially handicapped American man fell on the road as he tried to run after a taxi can that drove off. Police found the American in an inebriated and sometimes incoherent state but his Cambodian girlfriend said that he had been robbed of ฿2,000 in addition to $500. Thai police are reported to have an open mind and are anxious to interview the taxi cab driver.
A partially handicapped American caused a furore in Bang Lamung near Pattaya early on Sunday morning last when he fell trying to pursue a ‘black taxi’ driver who he claimed had robbed him. Thai police were called to the scene and are investigating the matter. The man’s 36 year old Cambodian girlfriend claims that in addition to ฿2,000, the taxi driver also made off with $500. Thai police are now beginning to examine CCTV footage from the area and are seeking to interview the taxi driver to hear his version of events.
Thai police in Pattaya are keeping an open mind on a claim by a US tourist that he was robbed by a taxi driver. The 58 year old American made the claims at 5am on Sunday morning after he said that the taxi, an unlicensed vehicle, drove off with his money which comprised of $500 and ฿2,000.
Incident occurred outside a busy 7/11 store
The bizarre incident was witnessed by a local in the Bang Lamung district of Pattaya where the alleged robbery took place. 37 year old Pongsak Sang Kneun said he saw the American, who has been named as Homer Break Kemper head from the waiting car to the bank ATM where he appeared to withdraw cash. He then returned to the car. Immediately afterwards, the witness said he saw the taxi driver get out and open the rear door of the taxi to allow the American to enter a 7/11 store for food that was in close proximity. He then saw the taxi cab driver return to the car and drive off which prompted the American man to attempt to run after it. However, he stumbled and fell on the road injuring his leg. The Thai man ran to assist the tourist and get him off the road. He also called the police to investigate the matter.
Thai police responded to the scene and urged the sometimes incoherent American to explain what happened
They responded to the call shortly afterwards. The police officers requested that the American explain to them exactly what had happened. After hearing the foreigner’s version of events they were not quite sure whether to fully accept the story. The American appeared drunk or at time incoherent as they interviewed him. The police have identified that the area is well covered by security cameras and they consider it implausible that, if the taxi driver intentions were sinister, he had not considered this. It is now reported that the police have begun tracking down and reviewing the CCTV footage, firstly to identify the taxi cab and then to interview him about the incident.
The unlicensed taxi is what is known in Thailand as ‘black cab’ and the operation of such a vehicle is also an offence under Thai law. Unlicensed taxi cabs can be arrested by Thai police but this also applies to operators working for Uber and other such companies if they have not got the proper paperwork including licences from Thailand’s authorities including the Department of Transport.
American man is partially handicapped
It is reported that the American is partially handicapped. The incident happened near a busy 7/11 store at Rum Pho market in Pattaya. There are conflicting reports of how much money was allegedly robbed from the man. In some later reports, it was suggested that only ฿2,000 was taken. Homer is reported by Thai news website Sanook as saying this was the amount that he was taken by the illegal taxi cab driver. ‘It don’t matter how much,’ he said. It appears that he was quite incoherent and some observers thought he had mentioned losing a walking aid or zimmer frame designed for people who need assistance and better balance.
American was both inebriated and distressed after the alleged robbery and his subsequent fall
The American was pictured at one point holding a can of Leo beer. His 36 year old Cambodian girlfriend, Porn, told reporters that he had told her that he had also been robbed of $500 by the taxi cab driver. She also explained that some cards were also missing. He was in a state of obvious anxiety after the incident and his subsequent fall. The American suffered visible abrasions and cuts to his arms, knees and legs after he fell on to the road. He screamed loudly at medics who were called to the scene to treat the visibly shaken and injured man.
Pattaya police want to hear from the taxi driver
The American’s state of inebriation and incoherence made the situation difficult for Thai police to properly investigate. The police were quite conscious of the need to hear the other side of the story and determined to interview the taxi cab driver as soon as possible. Lieutenant Colonel Netthithorn Ratanasuchanan of the Royal Thai Police said bluntly that it was difficult to believe the American’s story at the scene. The police are now awaiting the CCTV footage from the surrounding area and to hear from the taxi cab driver before determining the next move.