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Phuket van driver uses axe in car park brawl

Phuket van driver uses axe in car park brawl

PHUKET: Police are investigating a fight in front of a popular tourist souvenir store in northern Phuket yesterday (Sept 20) during which a passenger van driver struck a man on the head with an axe.

By Eakkapop Thongtub

Wednesday 21 September 2022, 10:26AM

The incident occurred in the car park of the Khun Mae Ju store on Thepkrasattri Rd in Moo 5, Thepkrasattri yesterday afternoon, with the fight eventually broken up by a security guard and other people at the scene.

The man struck on the head with the axe, Chanon Pengthep, was taken to Thalang Hospital for his injury, and later transferred to Vachira Phuket Hospital in Phuket Town.

A video of the incident was posted online yesterday afternoon.

The two Phuket van drivers involved in the fight ‒ Nattapon Chaibutr, 43, from Sakhu, and Piya Limthareekul, 46, from Pa Khlok ‒ presented themselves at Thalang Police Station yesterday evening, confirmed Lt Col Kornphumphot Pongpaiboon, Chief of Investigation at Thalang Police Station.

The axe used in the fight was also presented, he added.

The drivers said they had never seen the man they were fighting with before the incident yesterday, Lt Col Kornphumphot said.

The incident started over “someone staring at each other’s faces”, he added.

Police are still investigating the fight, Lt Col Kornphumphot said.

Security guard Prasit Jai-in, 54, said that by the time he intervened the two Phuket van drivers were fighting against another man. One of the van drivers pulled a small axe out of his van and struck the third man, Chanon, with it, leaving Mr Chanon with a bleeding wound on his head.

It was not confirmed which part of the axe was used to hit Mr Chanon.

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While the fight was taking place between two passenger vans, two tourists, both Thai, were sitting in one of the vans, Mr Prasit said.

After the men were separated the axe was tossed back into the van by the van driver who wielded it, he added.

Kornphithak Asanasuwan of the Phuket Land Transport Office (PLTO) said his office was investigating the incident.

However, the PLTO is reviewing the incident only in light of the public transport driver regulations, Mr Kornphithak said.

The PLTO is reviewing the drivers’ behaviour for the use of impolite language, whether the drivers were dressed appropriately and whether the drivers are properly licensed.

The PLTO will not be taking any action over any actual assault as that remained under the purview of criminal law, he confirmed.

Using “impolite speech” can incur a fine of up to B5,000 and not being “dressed politely” can incur a fine of up to B5,000, Mr Kornphithak said.

A public transport driver not carrying the correct licence can incur a fine of up to B40,000 or up to two years in jail, or both, he said.

“From watching the clip [posted online], it is not a competition for passengers in any way. It is a private quarrel,” he said.

“We have to ascertain what the actual cause was, which may lead to further legal action,” he said.

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Kurt | 22 September 2022 - 13:40:27

Unbelieveble that Phuket Governors, RTP, PLTO allow tourist transport Thai drivers to have weapons in their vehicle. It show that Thai drivers themselve not feel safe under the Thai law. What must tourists think about this? Transported in a taxi, Van, with weapon(s) on board. And TAT?? Silent as a mouse. Any Ministerial intervention? Oh no. Ostrian behavior. Don't touch the Thai mafia. Astonis...

Capricornball | 22 September 2022 - 11:28:02

@JohnC - Yep, not only are these angry cartel men-children a danger to everyone on the road, they are almost ALL armed and dangerous, ready and willing to pull out their weapon of choice over the slightest thing. All public transport should be searched and weapons removed. If weapons found in vehicle, impound it and license lost.

JohnC | 22 September 2022 - 09:20:54

Carrying a concealed dangerous weapon with intent to use it must, or at least should, attract a much heavier fine than 'impolite speech'. What a joke! On that subject, police should carry out regular weapons checks of EVERY taxi and minivan island wide. Have you seen what these guys hide under their seats to use indiscriminately during fits of road rage. LoS my a**e!

Prab | 21 September 2022 - 22:08:54

the usual day in the jungle 

solar_serfer | 21 September 2022 - 21:11:00

Paddy nailed it, but I'd add that a conversation in which all participants  were politely dressed and used a katana and an axe on each other, is called a kata-strophic axe-ident. and accidents happen. no worries. cheers.

Paddy | 21 September 2022 - 12:34:13

Misunderstanding, an axeident . Animals , that's attempted murder and should never be allowed to drive a taxi again . I think this counts as a blemish on Thai tourism . Will probably be a 500 baht fine.

Fascinated | 21 September 2022 - 12:17:56

Grown men behaving like children- I guess they will be put in the naughty corner for 5 minutes. What is the point of the PLTO investigating as there will be no fruitful end to this thuggishness. This was a clear assault and the cops should deal with it. Splashing people B20k, impolite or not dress correctly- 5k. Discharge a wpn in public-1k- what a joke.

Kurt | 21 September 2022 - 11:44:22

So, still 'public transport vehicle drivers' carry deadly weapons in their car. We are warned again,..'staring at some of them' can result in a 'axe bite' somewhere on your body. Lucky when you survive it. And what will we see, it's a matter of time and this axe wielding driver is back on the road. Just S..t talk about misunderstanding/sorry + a mediation fee for RTP. W...

Capricornball | 21 September 2022 - 11:36:59

The entire public transport crime family is running amok, and nobody has any control over it. The untold damage to the image of Phuket cannot be underestimated. If ever there was a point where drastic measures are warranted, now is it. Everyone responsible to control it is worthless. Time to call in the troops and put an end to these criminals and their leaders and enablers once and for all.

Capricornball | 21 September 2022 - 10:58:17

So, the PLTO doesn't care that one of these retards keeps a freeking axe in his van, as long as he is properly dressed and doesn't swear. Right here is a great example of everything wrong with these dangerous criminals that serve the tourist industry and the joke of an agency that oversees them. Every minivan on Phuket needs to be searched on a regular basis, and armed drivers terminated.


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