Smoking Austrian attacks taxi driver in Phuket

Smoking Austrian attacks taxi driver in Phuket

The limousine taxi driver is attacked by an Austrian passenger on Thep Krasattri Road in Thalang district, Phuket, on Wednesday morning. (Photos supplied)
The limousine taxi driver is attacked by an Austrian passenger on Thep Krasattri Road in Thalang district, Phuket, on Wednesday morning. (Photos supplied)

PHUKET: An Austrian visitor has been charged with assaulting a limousine taxi driver who reportedly told him not to smoke in the vehicle. The altercation resulted in the taxi colliding with another car.

The incident happened on Thep Krasattri Road in Thalang district on Wednesday morning, Pol Col Pasakorn Sonthikul, deputy commander of Phuket police, said on Thursday.

According to taxi driver Wuthiporn Chaiyamongkol, he had picked up Gernot Leoben from Phuket airport and was heading for the client's destination in tambon Chalong.

When they reached Ban Mueang Mai in Thalang, the visitor started smoking a cigarette inside the car. In response, the driver informed him of the no-smoking policy.

When the vehicle was moving along Thep Krasattri Road, the 59-year-old Austrian climbed from the back seat to the front passenger seat and placed Mr Wuthiporn in a headlock, causing the driver to lose control of the car. The taxi then collided with the rear of an MG SUV, which was waiting at a traffic light.

The SUV's driver who identified himself only as Thanongsak said that after his car was hit, he got out of his vehicle and heard the taxi driver calling for help.

Mr Thanongsak said he saw the passenger restraining the taxi driver by the neck. He and other civilians intervened to help the taxi driver and mitigate the situation.

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