Locals to rally against Swiss man

Locals to rally against Swiss man

Fehr: Has apologised
Fehr: Has apologised

Phuket residents are planning to gather around Yamu Beach in Thalang district on Sunday to rally against a Swiss man who allegedly kicked a local for sitting on steps near his beachfront villa.

On the evening of Feb 24, Urs "David" Fehr, 45, allegedly kicked Thandao Chandam, a doctor at Dibuk Hospital in Phuket, in the back while she and her friend were moon-watching in front of his villa.

Dr Thandao was also allegedly berated by Khanuengnit, the Swiss man's wife. The doctor later filed an assault complaint with police over the incident.

In response, the Swiss man and his wife said they thought the doctor and her friend were Chinese tourists who had earlier allegedly trespassed on their property. Mr Fehr apologised for the incident with the doctor, insisting he had no intention to harm her.

However, locals are calling for the expulsion of the Swiss man and for the public beach to be returned to locals. They plan to rally there on Sunday.

On Friday, the couple was summoned to Thalang police station to acknowledge a physical assault charge. Police will later submit the case summary to Phuket Kwaeng Court for a legal proceeding.

The villa steps where the incident took place were not even on the couple's property but found to be encroaching on public beach land, locals say.

Tambon Pa Klok municipality on Thursday filed a complaint against Phuket Peninsula Estate Co Ltd, which looks after the villa project.

Tambon Pa Klok mayor Panya Sampaorat said a further inspection revealed that two more constructions -- wooden stairs and a lounging ground -- also encroached on the beach.

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