PHUKET: Police in the tourist area of Ao Nang, across Phang Nga Bay from Phuket, have beefed up patrols and launched a tourist-friendly campaign to heighten security ahead of the huge influx of visitors expected during the tourism high season.
The move to boost safety comes as the public prosecutor prepares to bring to trial three musicians for the stabbing murder of American tourist Bobby Ray Carter Jr and the assault of his 27-year-old son at the Little Longhorn Saloon bar in July (story here
Police have ramped up their efforts to prevent similar incidents from occurring.
“Following what happened, we ordered entertainment venue owners and other business operators along the beach to call the police if their staff are in altercations with tourists,” Krabi Town Police Superintendent Thaksin Pochakorn explained.
“There is no excuse for bar staff attacking tourists,” he said.
Officers have also boosted the number of patrols in the area, set up checkpoints to search for weapons and drugs, and assigned plainclothes police to mingle with patrons at venues to keep an eye on any developments, he added.
“We also have our own tuk-tuk roaming the streets. This helps us keep in contact with tourists, assist them with advice and explain to them what to be wary of in the area,” Col Thaksin explained.
“This makes tourists feel close to police officers and feel safe while on holiday here,” he said.
“We urge tourists to be aware of potentially dangerous behaviors when they get drunk. Swearing and being rude could anger some people and result in a physical attack,” Col Thaksin warned.
The deadly brawl which was the catalyst for the security boost left Bobby Ray Carter Jr with fatal stab wounds and his son, Adam, 27, with serious head injuries and a stab wound to the arm. Both were rushed to Krabi Hospital, where Bobby Carter was pronounced dead soon after arrival.
The three band members – Ratikorn Romin, 27, from Phang Nga; Nopanan Yoddecha, 26, from Krabi; and Sathid Somsa, 40, from Bangkok – did not flee the scene and were immediately arrested.
Hours later at Krabi Town Police Station, all three accepted charges related to brawling, but denied any intent to kill.
An officer at the Krabi Public Prosecutor’s Office confirmed to the Phuket Gazette
on Friday that a date for the trial to begin had not been set.
Col Thaksin told the Gazette
that police handed the case over to the public prosecutor on October 13.
“There was a delay in handing over the case to the public prosecutor because we had to question many witnesses and because investigators have yet to find the murder weapon,” Col Thaksin said.