The Chief of Police in Karon on Thursday confirmed the incident and that four people were arrested and fined for physical assault including the American who was identified only as a 44-year-old man named as Mr Connolly. Police declined to explain the root cause of the public disturbance except to say that it was a misunderstanding caused by Mr Connolly’s verbal interaction with staff at the restaurant.

A helmeted American tourist ran for his life on Monday near Karon beach in Phuket leaving his motorbike behind after the staff from a restaurant swarmed out to physically attack him including one man with a red flag and another maddened individual with a large plank of wood.

A swarm of people including staff form a local restaurant chase a 44-year-old American only identified as Mr Connolly on Monday afternoon after some conflict or misunderstanding developed inside a seafood restaurant on Karon Beach. This provoked what appeared to be the entire restaurant staff to attack Mr Conolly with one man using a red flag while another chased after him with a plank of wood. Police later arrested 4 people including the American and charged them with physical assault.

There was mayhem on the normally relaxed Karon seafront in Phuket on Monday afternoon when what appeared to be the entire staff of a local seafood restaurant turned on a 44-year old American visitor. No one yet is quite sure what triggered the incident which quickly escalated.

No explanation for what triggered the violent reaction

Police who later arrived at the scene and arrested four individuals including the American man identified only a Mr Connolly describe the cause as a misunderstanding between the American man and staff at a popular seafood restaurant in the area.

American was getting ready to mount his motorbike when accosted by angry staff from the restaurant

CCTV footage of the attack on the American man shows a melee developing as Mr Connolly attempted to mount his motorbike and leave from the front of the restaurant.

He was very quickly forced to abandon that effort and in short order, was seen being punched and attacked by a swarm of people.

Panicked American seen running for his life

Panicked, the American can be seen running from the horde with his motorbike helmet still on only to be followed by the pack with one man violently waving a red flag while another followed up carrying a wooden plank.

Following the crowd, another restaurant staff member can be seen sprinting after the mob with what appeared to be some sort of wooden bat.

Karon police quickly on the scene

Luckily, Karon police arrived on the scene and brought the situation under control.

The Chief of Police in Karon, Colonel  Prawit Sutthirueangarun, on Thursday told The Phuket News, Phuket’s local newspaper that police were called to the scene after reports of mob violence towards a foreign tourist.

Four people arrested including the American

The police officer in charge was reported to be Major Techin Deethongon who arrived at the scene at 4.30 pm approximately.

Police arrested the 44 year old American together with three staff of a local seafood restaurant.

These were named as 27-year-old Theeraporn Thitayaporn and two nationals from Myanmar. These were identified as 20-year-old Ao Min Wen and a 21-year-old named as Mr Nadee.

Comments by the American led to the explosive situation – believed to be a verbal misunderstanding

Following police questioning, officers were able to identify that a conversation between Mr Connolly and staff at the restaurant had led to the outburst of violence.

Some unconfirmed press reports suggest that Mr Connolly was not happy with the limited and uniform choice of seafood at the restaurant and made reference to a European furniture maker which sells flatback products. The word triggered a ferocious response.

Police, however, have declined to confirm the exact nature of the conversation that led to the misunderstanding between the American and the restaurant staff.

All four suffered injury in the fracas

They did, however, confirm that the four individuals had suffered injuries in the course of the fracas. All those arrested including the American were fined ฿500 for using physical violence and assault.

Indian doctor intimidating by a restaurant owner

It is not the first such incident or report this year of restaurant staff in Phuket become violent or using intimidation when confronted with a dissatisfied customer.

At the end of September, Indian tourist, Dr Awdhesh Singh, a regular visitor to Thailand with his family, sent a number of written complaints to police in Phuket and Bangkok following a confrontation with the owner of a restaurant in Phuket.

Incident at a restaurant in Patpong

Dr Singh said his family’s normally high opinion of Thailand was shaken after he visited a restaurant near his Patpong hotel on the 30th of September.

The restaurant had advertised Indian food.

However, as soon as Dr Singh and his family were seated in the establishment, they detected a highly unpleasant stink which put them off.

The family made to exit through a side door but were confronted by the owner of the restaurant.

Forced the 75-year-old doctor to issue an apology

Dr Singh, a 75-year-old man, explained that he was confronted by an irate, middle-aged man who also looked like he may have been also of Indian origin.

When asked why the party as leaving, Dr Singh explained that the smell in his restaurant was revolting and he feared it was likely to cause his family to vomit.

This provoked the man to spew a torrent of abuse at him and his family stating that their departure and attitude was an insult to his restaurant.

The elderly man said that for the first time in his life he was forced to apologise for another person for no reason in front of his family because of the menacing nature of the man.

Further reading:

UK man’s crisis in Thailand after finding himself behind bars when he came to court as a victim

UK man fights for his life in a northern Thai town after being targeted trying to intervene in a fight

American tourist attacked by restaurant staff in a violent affray

+ American tourist attacked by restaurant staff in a violent affray on Karon beach in Phuket on Monday – Police say it was a misunderstanding, decline to specify. Boonkong reports from Phuket

Posted by on Thursday, December 5, 2019