PHUKET: Police have played down the street brawl among motorbike and tuk-tuk drivers on the Patong beach road last Saturday night (June 18), saying the matter has been dealt with and the drivers involved have resolved their differences. It was a “misunderstanding”, police have reported.
Phuket Provincial Police released its statement regarding the brawl last night, while Patong Police posted the same Provincial Police release early this afternoon (June 22) ‒ four days after the brawl took place.
The statement clearly explains that the “update” was in response to posts on social media showing the brawl.
Phuket Provincial Police Commander Maj Gen Sermphan Sirikong had ordered Patong Police Chief Col Suchin Nilabadee to investigate the brawl, which the statement said occurred in front of the Tourist Service Center on Thaweewong Rd (the beach road) at around 10pm.
Although police have not described the incident as such, it now appears that the “brawl” was five tuk-tuk drivers beating a lone motorbike taxi driver.
The fight started over a customer, the statement read.
The five tuk-tuk drivers were named as Mr Anan, Mr Suriya, Mr Ekkaluk, Mr Boonrit and Mr Kritsada. The motorcycle taxi driver was named as Mr Ibrahim.
The family names of all six were withheld.
Officers brought the six to Patong Police Station to record details of the incident the next day (Sunday, June 19), the statement explained.
All six returned to Patong Police Station on Monday, when the five tuk-tuk drivers were fined, the statement continued.
The statement did not confirm how much each tuk-tuk driver was fined for the “brawl”, which now appears more like an attack.
The statement did assure that the drivers had now resolved their differences.
“The group said to the police that it was a misunderstanding and they did not understand each other,” the statement said.
Patong Police so far have not released any statements about the altercation on the beach road under their own name.
However, Patong Police have found it important to issue their own statement to clarify another fight, this one on Bangla Rd around 10pm on June 14, after scenes of this altercation were also posted on social media.
The fight was over a Myanmar woman stealing empty drinknig water bottles so she could sell them for recycling, Patong Police reported in a statement issued today (June 21).
The issue was resolved with a B300 fine, the statement added.
“The duty of the officers is based on the principles of law and public safety,” Patong Police assured.
Meanwhile, the Phuket Land Transport Office (PLTO) has yet to recognise the violence perpetrated on the Patong beach road by local tuk-tuk drivers, despite repeatedly announcing that it takes public safety seriously.