AN ELDERLY motorcycle taxi rider chased two Hong Kong tourists with a fruit knife in Pattaya after a dispute broke out over the fare of a kilometre-long ride, Thai Rath newspaper said this afternoon (Apr. 14).
Mr. Worapon Naroj, 70, who is usually based in front of a condominium near Central Festival Pattaya shopping centre, told reporters that the two Hong Kong Chinese men asked for a ride to go enjoy Songkran in front of some beer bars in Soi 6, Second Pattaya road.
This distance is about a kilometre so he asked for 80 baht each, or 160 baht in all, and they agreed to it.
However when they reached the destination the two tourists gave him 80 baht. When he asked for the remaining 80 baht they refused to pay up so an argument broke out and he punched one of them in the face.
One of the two tourists then held him and the other punched him back, so he pulled out a fruit knife he carried in his pocket but confirmed he did not pursue and stab them as they alleged to the police.
When Pattaya City police showed up, a negotiation between the two parties took place and they apologised to each other with the bike taxi rider refunding the 80 baht fare to the tourists.
Police said this scuffle was due to miscommunication and language problems.
Reporters had received a video clip of this incident showing Mr. Sakda Otaya, 49, a Pattaya city municipal officer, relating that last evening after he parked his motorcycle in this area the two Hong Kong Chinese tourists ran to him asking for help as the motorcycle taxi rider was chasing them with a knife.
He added that the bike taxi rider then tried to ride off but local people in the area caught and held him till police came and negotiated a settlement.
The Pattaya policeman who settled the dispute between the motorcycle taxi rider and the two tourists, above, and the stand where he is based, Front Page. Both photos: Thai Rath