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Shots fired as Phuket former French Foreign Legion servicemen pulls gun on Russian tourist

PHUKET: A 62-year-old French expat in Patong has been charged for pulling a gun out and firing it in the middle of a fight with a Russian tourist today (Feb 7) after the Russian had left an expired passport as collateral for a rented motorbike.

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By Eakkapop Thongtub

Tuesday 7 February 2017, 09:07PM


Frenchman Gerard Pecherstorfer, who has lived in Phuket for 14 years, was taken into custody by Patong Traffic Police on 50 Pi Rd (Hasip Pi Rd) around noon after police were informed of shots fired in the neighbourhood.

Mr Pecherstorfer, who according to his Facebook profile was a member of French Foreign Legion from 1986 to 2002, had pulled out a 9mm handgun amid a fight with Russian tourist Sergey Antonov, Patong Police Chief Col Chaiwat Uikum told The Phuket News.

The incident tracks back to Jan 19, when Mr Antonov, from Moscow, and a friend rented a motorbike from Mr Pecherstorfer’s wife, Col Chaiwat said.

“They rented a Honda PCX for one day and left Mr Antonov’s passport as collateral,” he explained.

The men did not return the motorbike until Jan 26, but then paid the rental fee and asked to continue to rent the bike, Col Chaiwat explained.

“When the men returned today (Feb 7) to continue renting the bike, Mr Pecherstorfer’s wife said they couldn’t as by now she had realised that that passport given as collateral had expired,” he said.

The wife said they had to give her a valid passport, and Mr Antonov, who celebrated his 40th birthday yesterday (Feb 6), said he would go back to his hotel to fetch his current one.

“The wife asked Mr Antonov’s friend to wait while Mr Antonov fetched his passport, but after Mr Antonov left on the rented motorbike, his friend ran away,” Col Chaiwat said.

“The wife ran after him, but couldn’t catch him. Just then, Mr Pecherstorfer returned from a trip to the bank, and so he and his wife took a motorbike to look for him.

“They soon found Mr Antonov on the motorbike on 50 Pi Rd, where Mr Pecherstorfer pulled him over and they started arguing,” he added.

The war of words escalated and Mr Pecherstorfer claimed that the Russian struck him in the face, prompting Mr Pecherstorfer to take 9mm handgun out from under his motorbike seat and fire one shot into the ground, Col Chaiwat said.

“Mr Antonov then charged at Mr Pecherstorfer and snatched the gun away from him. The gun fired during the struggle, but no one was hit,” he said.

Mr Antonov wrestled his French adversary to the ground and waited for the police, who took both men to Patong Police Station.

Mr Antonov was charged with assault but Mr Pecherstorfer faces a slew of gun charges.

“Mr Pecherstorfer said he took a lot of money to the bank, so he took the gun with him. Police have confirmed that the gun is registered to his wife,” Col Chaiwat explained.

Regardless, Mr Pecherstorfer was charged with possession of another person’s firearm, carrying a firearm in a public place, and firing a gun in a public place, Col Chaiwat confirmed.

 

 

 

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Sally Wilson | 09 February 2017 - 15:47:05

How can tourists feel safe in Phuket when there are crazy ex-serviceman carry illegal firearms on the streets?

Al Capone | 09 February 2017 - 15:35:34

Col Peerayuth from Patong Police is personally handling the case and they are "coming down hard against crime in Phuket, especially with regard to the mafia and other powerful people"

I'm sure there is a lot more to this story than has so far been reported in the media.

Kurt | 09 February 2017 - 11:25:48

Why was mr Antonov charged?
I find him quite brave in action to unarm bare handed another person ( ex legionair) who illegally carry a gun and fired it.
Looks like a 'citizen's arrest' to me.

And why has a thai lady a registered gun permit + a gun other people have access to?
Thai lady not charged? Police not know the thai law on fire arms?
And how about the illegal action of th...

Christy Sweet | 09 February 2017 - 09:18:03

So long, Frenchie... 

Barry Jordan | 08 February 2017 - 18:10:12

After all of the problems over the years with people getting the return of their deposits from Mr Gerard Pecherstorfer after renting his Condo unit(s) at the Green in Kathu I am not surprised to hear he needs to carry a gun to feel safe.

Toby Vincent | 08 February 2017 - 15:03:11

It seems to be getting more and more like the wild west in Phuket  every day.

I am surprised that a former French foreign legion special forces elite soldier like Mr Gerard Pecherstorfer would need to defend himself with a gun against a Russian tourist. I guess we can\'t believe everything we see in the movies or hear about on this Island for that matter.

Pauly44 | 07 February 2017 - 21:19:11

You've got to be kidding, give him a year in a Thai slammer then deport the french scum.

Asterix | 07 February 2017 - 21:09:57

Very interesting to see what police will do with the Frenchman carrying illegally a gun in public and shooting twice in the air to intimidate the 2 Russians.
1/- Collect some money and fine him 500 Baht.
2/- Send the case to court and get him deported from Thailand at last.

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