Monday, August 29, 2011

GERMAN TOURIST IN COMA AFTER ATTACK ON PHUKET

Tragically, a German tourist, remains in a coma today after being severely beaten by a group of tuk-tuk drivers [Samlor: a three-wheeled, motorized vehicle] in the town of Patong on Thursday night (August 25). Kurt Trotnow, 53, was beaten severely by a group of men outside the Taipan nightclub at 2300. According to witnesses, the victim was reportedly drunk and for reasons unknown attacked one of the tuk-tuk drivers, with the result being that other drivers joined in, leaving Trotnow seriously injured and lying in the roadway.

COMMENT: Bystanders took Trotnow to nearby Patong Hospital, although he was later transferred to Phuket International Hospital in Phuket City. He is listed in serious condition.

It should be noted that the delay in this report is attributed to the torrential rains that have befallen Phuket in recent days.

The high volume of foreign tourists that regularly visit both Pattaya and Phuket and the equally high level of victimization of tourists is a concern to Thai officials, given the frequent reports of cases of larceny, robbery, scams by jet-ski owners, con-games and the use of date-rape drugs on tourists.

Ironically, a senior Thai police official also met with tuk-tuk drivers on Phuket today in an effort to lift standards of behavior and dress and agree on a new scale of fares. Recently, tuk-tuk drivers blocked an essential part of central Patong's one-way street system in a dispute with police. The blockade came because a policeman drew a gun in trying to bring peace as tuk-tuk drivers brawled with two young men from the Netherlands. Inflated tuk-tuk fares are the cause of most tourist complaints on Phuket.

Although tuk-tuk drivers are often a very contentious group of folks to deal with (as I have witnessed from first-hand knowledge), it is entirely possible that this altercation began with the victim throwing the first blow. As I have said in the past, excessive drinking on the part of tourists can severely impair their judgment and ability to make wise choices in tense situations. Hence, if Mr. Trotnow indeed started the fight with the tuk-tuk driver, his injuries might well have been victim-precipitated.

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