Foreign Tourist Allegedly Assaults Taxi Driver in Phuket Over Smoking Dispute

Phuket, April 3, 2024— A male foreign tourist is facing charges after reportedly attacking a taxi driver in Phuket. The incident unfolded when the taxi driver requested that the tourist refrain from smoking inside the vehicle.

The altercation was captured on video and has since gone viral on social media. In the footage seen HERE, the foreigner can be seen forcefully pushing the taxi driver out of the cab in Thalang. As a result, the taxi inadvertently collided with another car.

Thalang Police Chief Colonel Nikorn Choothong confirmed the incident, which occurred on the main Thep Krasattri Road, approximately 30 meters from the Thalang Police Station. All three individuals involved—the foreign tourist, the taxi driver, and another driver—were taken to the police station for further investigation.

According to the unnamed taxi driver, he had picked up the ‘Austrian’ tourist from Phuket International Airport and was en route to a hotel in Chalong. During the journey, the tourist lit a cigarette inside the taxi. When the driver asked him to extinguish it, the tourist became agitated.

In a sudden escalation, the tourist moved from the back seat to the front, gripping the taxi driver’s neck with his hands. The taxi began to move slowly and eventually collided with the car ahead at an intersection. The distressed taxi driver managed to open the door and call for assistance.

Colonel Nikorn stated that the tourist is now facing charges related to causing bodily and mental harm. However, specific details about the tourist and the taxi driver have not been disclosed, and there is no mention of any statement from the tourist.

This is the second threatening incident from a tourist towards a Phuket taxi driver this week as we reported here.

Goongnang Suksawat
Goong Nang is a News Translator who has worked professionally for multiple news organizations in Thailand for many years and has worked with The Pattaya News for more than four years. Specializes primarily in local news for Phuket, Pattaya, and also some national news, with emphasis on translation between Thai to English and working as an intermediary between reporters and English-speaking writers. Originally from Nakhon Si Thammarat, but lives in Phuket and Krabi except when commuting between the three.