PATTAYA — Police say they are looking for a vendor who assaulted a Russian tourist on Pattaya’s Walking Street last night.
Details of the altercation remain unclear, but Col. Sukthat Pumpanmuang of Pattaya City Police Station said he believes it was a hawker in the red light district who punched the 45-year-old tourist because he refused to buy something.
“I believe there was a problem in their communication,” Sukthat said by telephone. “The tourist probably shouted at [the vendor] to stay away and tried to walk away.”
The tourist was brought to the police station at around 1am.
“We haven’t got a suspect yet. We are still investigating the incident.”
According to Sukthat, the Russian suffered bloody bruises on his face, but declined to go to hospital after filing a report at the police station.
“He said he had to continue his trip on to Koh Sichang,” Sukthat said.
A reporter who happened to be in the area when the assault took place said the Russian man told news photographers via a police interpreter not to take his photo.
Pattaya, a coastal resort town east of Bangkok, is well known for its seedy red light district and crimes involving foreigners.
Sukthat said police have taken measures to improve tourist safety in Pattaya, especially around Walking Street, such as posting police patrols and ordering bar guards not to take matters in their own hands if any arguments with foreign customers break out.
“But in this case, it’s one of the hawkers. Right now we don’t know how to deal with them yet,” the police colonel said.
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