The incident happened on Tuesday night (May 9). The tuk-tuk driver, Amin Longklang, filed a complaint with Patong Police at about 9:20pm, police confirmed.
A group of tourists were speeding along on motorbikes on Thaweewong Rd (Patong beach road) when one of them struck his tuk-tuk, parked by the side of the road, Mr Amin said.
The rider stopped, but an argument quickly ensued. Friends of the rider also stopped, and one of them dismounted his motorbike, walked up to him and punched him in the face, Mr Amin reported.
After he was punched in the face, the foreigners mounted their motorbikes and sped off.
Mr Amin’s account of the assault was confirmed by a video of the incident posted online.
However, the video posted online clearly showed his tuk-tuk parked by the side of the road alone with its hazard lights flashing. It was not parked in line with any other tuk-tuks, which is very unusual for tuk-tuks parked along the beach road, indicating that Mr Amin was most likely driving along the road then pulled over.
The video also showed several people running in to join the affray, attempting to prevent the foreigners from speeding off. Some of them landed punches of their own on one of the foreigners.
Police later identified the foreigner who punched Mr Amin in the face as Jack Mark Paul Hoban, age not reported, from Manchester.
Officers tracked him to a hotel in Kata, where they placed him under arrest at about 3pm on Wednesday (May 10), police said.
Hoban was taken to Patong Police Station, where Mr Amin identified him as the man who punched him in the face.
Hoban has been charged with physical assault causing injury, police confirmed.
It was not confirmed whether a medical report confirming that Mr Amin had suffered an injury was required in order for police to take action in this case ‒ as has often been cited by police as necessary before officers can take any action in many previous cases.
After completing any legal and court-ordered obligations, Hoban is now facing deportation and possible blacklisting from re-entering the country for at least a defined period under the ‘Phuket Crime-Free’ campaign, under which foreigners are issued ‘red cards’ for any incidents that cause harm or a public disturbance.
JohnC | 13 May 2023 - 09:16:28