A group of young danes out celebrating their graduation from the European Bartender School in Patong received a lesson in Phuket bar etiquette this week when one man was chased down and “vigorously apprehended” by tuk-tuk and motorcycle taxi drivers.
The objection among the drivers was the rough treatment given to a Thai barmaid following a disagreement late Thursday night over the bill at the Ice Bar, off Soi Bangla.
Following the altercation, the Thai woman involved was taken to Patong Hospital to receive treatment for injuries, and a doorman at the Tai Pan nightclub saw two foreign men running into Soi Sunset, at about midnight.
“They ran into the soi, which is a dead end, chased by more than 10 Thais, including police and a few Thai girls. After about half an hour, one of the two men was led away by police. He had blood on his face,” the doorman told the Phuket Gazette.
The man, from Denmark, was arrested and held overnight at Patong Police Station.
Police Duty Officer Teerasuk Boonsang said the man, whom he declined to name, was released the next day.
“They were really drunk at that time. The Dane didn’t want any problems with this as he and his friends had just finished the course and are supposed to leave soon,” he said.
“Mediation between the parties at the police station was successful and finished at about midday [yesterday], so the case will not go to court. It was agreed [the Dane] would pay for the girl’s medical treatment and damages to the bar,” the policeman said.
The Danish man also reportedly needed treatment for minor injuries sustained in the “citizen’s arrest,” he added.
However, a staff member at the school told the Gazette, “I have heard different stories. I was told that the foreigners did not hit the ladies. They wanted to get out of the bar so they pushed them.
“But one lady was pushed onto the floor and they ran out of there – and then later one of the guys was caught in a dark alley and beaten up by some Thai guys. That’s all I know,” he said.
“They have been here for four weeks, and they were heading out for a good time. I am not saying the ‘students’ are innocent, but it seems many people got excited,” he said.
“Everything was a big misunderstanding and got out of hand. We do not have any hard feelings against the Ice Bar because we think it’s cool. I always take my students there.
“I know they are a little upset, but I hope they don’t have any negative feelings toward us. It was just a big misunderstanding,” he added.
“We can’t condone any violence against tourists, but some foreigners who come here get what’s coming to them. We are very grateful to the motorcycle drivers for what they did,” he added.
The owner of the Ice Bar said he was also happy to leave the incident in the past.