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Patong taxi driver apologises for challenging police officer to fight

PHUKET: Soldiers from the Royal Thai Army’s 25th Infantry Regiment, based in Phuket, were called in to support police today (Oct 24) at a meeting held following an altercation between a Patong taxi driver and a traffic police officer that was caught on video on the afternoon of Oct 19.

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By Premkamon Ketsara

Tuesday 24 October 2017, 06:39PM


Taxi driver Mr Boonlop Mueanharn (centre) seen here at today's (Oct 24) meeting with police and military officials. Photo: 25th Infantry Regiment

Taxi driver Mr Boonlop Mueanharn (centre) seen here at today's (Oct 24) meeting with police and military officials. Photo: 25th Infantry Regiment

In the video footage, recorded on Thaweewong Rd (Patong beach road), a taxi driver complains to two traffic police officers on motorbikes about parking spaces.

The taxi driver says to police, “It is not enough. There are a lot of cars parked around here.”

When told to move his vehicle, which was said to have been parked outside of the legal parking area, the taxi driver defies the officers requests, “I can fight with you anywhere and anytime but take off your uniform. We will see you at the boxing stadium,” he says.

The policeman then questions the driver, “Who will fight?”

“Me, you fight with me. I am not scared of you,” was the taxi driver’s response.

Both policeman then drive away from the scene.

At today’s meeting, the taxi driver, Mr Boonlop Mueanharn, told the officer that he challenged to a fight, Cpl Nipon Panbua of the Patong Traffic Police, that he was angry that he had stopped him from parking where he had. He also admitted to challenging the him to a fight.
Cpl Nipon today declined to comment on the incident, “Please contact my boss,” he said.

Speaking to The Phuket News’ sister paper Khao Phuket today, Chief of the Patong Traffic Police Lt Col Eakkarat Plaiduang said, “The incident happened after Patong Traffic Police carried out their daily inspection of parking near the Loma Junction. Cpl Nipon found that the taxi was not parked in the correct manner so he asked the driver to move it. So the taxi driver moved it.

“However, soon after the officer returned to the same place and the taxi driver waved for him to stop. The taxi driver then asked the officer why focused on catching taxi drivers and not thieves,” Lt Col Eakkarat explained.

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“The taxi driver has already apologised to the officer and he has accepted the apology,” Lt Col Eakkarat added.

Patong Police Chief Col Tassanai Orarigadech added, “Arguments between taxi driver and police happen every day. Officers are only doing their duty. When they find taxi drivers have parked incorrectly they have to tell them.

“We have a policy for decreasing parking spaces for taxis in Patong, but this has lead to there not being enough parking spaces for the taxis. It is normal for taxi operators to be unsatisfied, and sadly the hot weather only adds to the problem,” Col Tassanai added.

“I urge officers to work patiently with taxi drivers and understand each other. Do the job as best as they can,” Col Tassanai noted.

Meanwhile, Col Santi Sakuntanark, Commander of the 25th Infantry Regiment, said “This is an inappropriate incident. Patong Traffic Police are doing their duty. The Traffic Police did not do anything wrong. We have to call the taxi driver in to talk to him in order for him to change his attitude.

“The story came to light after being posted on Facebook. The person who posted the video must apologise to the traffic police too,” Col Santi added.

Mr Tinnakorn Jormmuang, a representative of the Patong taxi operators added, “I confirm that the person in the video clip is a taxi driver stationed at Loma Junction. He argued with officers. I agree that he used inappropriate words and temper with the officer. He insulted the officers.

“The taxi driver admitted that he lost control of his temper,” he said.

“Patong taxi operators including Mr Boonlop have already contacted traffic police officers including Cpl Nipon and soldiers to formally apologise for the incident. I always urge my team to act appropriately. We always have to follow the law,” Mr Tinnakorn added.

 

 

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BenPendejo | 25 October 2017 - 18:01:32

“We have a policy for decreasing parking spaces for taxis in Patong, but this has lead to there not being enough parking spaces for the taxis..." says Col Tassanai.  Obviously not clear on the concept...the issue is too many taxis, and they still dominate the street-scape with their unruly behavior, clogging the sidewalk and forcing tourists to walk in the street so they can dodge other un...

Nasa12 | 25 October 2017 - 14:24:30

It only shows who is the big boss in Patong, and it's not the Patong police and Army.But the Taxi and Tux Tux mafian.

Kurt | 25 October 2017 - 12:33:26

Seeing that photo with the taxi driver, with a cap on his head while sitting at that table.
Why they didn't order him to take of his cap while being inside and talking with officials.
Complete senseless.
This kind of person only understands to be touched in his wallet.
Anything else he just laughs about and it's strengths him in his being.
Do thai officials not understand that?

Pauly44 | 25 October 2017 - 07:11:04

Neanderthal man at it again, many of these transport drivers are lawless criminals and should be forcibly removed from any form of public service for tourists.

Rorri_2 | 25 October 2017 - 05:26:13

Says a lot about the police, when they need to call in the army, to support them, when interviewing someone.

Kurt | 24 October 2017 - 23:14:39

Childish outcome  ( let's be friends again)
RTP is even to weak to handle this herself, need army help. What a farce.
A missed chance for the authorities to set a example.
The taxi license of this taxi driver should have been cancelled for 6 months , as a warning to him and all other taxi and tuk tuk drivers to be respectful to thai officials (RTP).
That whole boxing bla bla putted the tax...

Eagle | 24 October 2017 - 19:33:44

Quote taxi driver:Why focus on catching taxi drivers and not thieves". It's the same or not ?{at least parking space thieves}

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