The gang turned up at the scene in a white pickup at 10:50pm on July 10 and started playing loud music from the vehicle while drinking beers on the steps right in front the police box, noted an incident report filed to Lt Col Pongpichan Chayanonpiriya at the Patong police station.
“There were no police in attendance at the police box all night and it was locked… The people were asked to leave as parking the car [and] drinking alcohol [there] is not allowed and playing loud music was not appropriate at the police box – and they left immediately,” a lead volunteer said in the report.
But the gang was soon back, in greater numbers and looking for a fight. “They returned with more people at 11:20pm, parked the car in the
same spot, played loud music, drank alcohol and told Thai people they were looking for the farang [foreign] police to fight them,” the report said.
“I chose not to engage them as the girl I spoke to outside Starbucks said they were waiting to fight with us and there were no police on Bangla Rd.”
Lt Col Pongphichan Chayanonpiriya, the officer in Patong responsible for co-ordinating police volunteers, this week told The Phuket News that he had little to say to rectify the lack of police presence on the busy tourist street.
“We have three to four officers stationed on Bangla every day, but at that particular time those officers were called to an incident elsewhere. That’s why they could not be found,” he said.
“We also have an officer at the police box every day, but he has to leave the box often to check along the entire three kilometres length of the road, from the bridge at the southern end of the beach road to the ‘dolphin circle’ at the northern end.
“That one officer has much to do, and all on Thaweewong Rd only,” said Col Pongphichan.
“I presume that the officer was not at the police box at the time of the incident because he was performing these duties.”
Col Pongphichan noted that expat police volunteers have no law-enforcement rights whatsoever unless a regular officer on duty is with them, which is often the case.
He also assured that anyone who assaulted a volunteer would face the law.
Despite having the report and photos for more than a week, Col Pongphichan on Wednesday said that no effort had been made to find the culprits, as the report did not constitute an official complaint.
However, by Thursday (July 30), he contacted The Phuket News to confirm that efforts to locate the gang were underway.