Video by Somsak Kreechai of Gary Ponting being arrested.
The Australian, it is alleged, was working as an unlicensed taxi driver.
Veera Kerdsirimongkol, Kathu District Officer, named the Australian as Gary Polting. He told The Phuket News, “The argument started when he went to pick up the guest from the hotel. When a woman taxi driver went to ask him what he thought he was doing, he said he worked for a timeshare company.
“The discussion ended when [Polting’s] customer arrived and they left for the new Tiger Kingdom.
“The incident came to a head when he returned to the hotel later in the day. Once again he was confronted by the woman taxi driver but this time he waved a push dagger at her.”
As Ponting ushered the guests to his four-door truck, Mrs Suangchanok asked him, “ Are you involved in timeshare?” He said, “No. I have a tour company,” and drove away.
Around midday he returned and asked for Mrs Suangchanok. She was not there. “I’ll be back,” he said.
Around 3pm he came back. He was angry, she said, swearing at her profusely. He took her photo. She asked why. He did not reply but carried on taking pictures. She pushed the camera down as colleagues came to see what was happening.
At that point Ponting pulled out a push dagger – a small but potentially deadly knife that fits in the fist. He swung it and nicked one of the drivers on the chin.
He also kicked another driver in the leg, then went back to his truck and returned carrying what looked like a large-calibre revolver. The taxi drivers fled.
Ponting drove away and Mrs Suangchanok called the police who reacted very fast, stopping Ponting at the roundabout at the north end of the beach road. They pulled him from the truck and handcuffed him.
The revolver, it turned out, was a BB replica, though they also found real bullets in the truck. Police also seized the push dagger.
Ponting refused to talk to reporters to give his side of the story. At the time of going to press he remained in custody.
His partner offered money to make the case go away. Police confirmed that Ponting said for all to hear that in Thailand “money can fix anything”.
Mrs Suangchanok refused the offer. “We don’t want your money. We want our dignity back. You don’t own Thailand. We [Thais] do.”
Ponting has been charged with illegal possession of a weapon. Other charges may follow.