BANGKOK — A senior official serving on the junta-appointed reform council was charged Tuesday for slapping a waiter who reportedly called him a “sugar daddy.”
Anusawn Chirapongse, a 60-year-old member of the National Reform Steering Assembly, was charged with assault and ordered to pay a 10,000 baht fine for the incident, which was captured on CCTV and went viral on social media.
“The two sides already met today. He will be fined 10,000 baht, the maximum penalty for the offense,” said Seksith Supha-Ouan, Bang Sue police chief.
Anusawn admitted to the charge, Col. Seksith added.
The Friday altercation took place at Greyhound Cafe in the La Villa shopping mall on Phahon Yothin Road. The waiter, Chartalongkorn Nilyan, told police he was slapped on the right cheek by Anusawn while he was waiting on the politician’s table.
Anusawn later said in an interview with Bright TV that he did assault Chartalongkorn, but only because the waiter called him pa, a term which translates to “sugar daddy” – or old, moneyed man – which he found inappropriate.
“I don’t like that word. The term is connected to massage salons, that kind of thing,” Anusawn said. “He could have called me phee [brother] or leung [uncle.]”
Anusawn also said he meant to cuff Chartalongkorn to “teach him a lesson.”
Apart from paying the fine, Anusawn has been placed under a disciplinary investigation, according to reform assembly vice president Alongkorn Ponlaboot.
“A committee has been set up to review his ethical conduct,” Alongkorn said by telephone.
Video footage of the assault was widely shared on social media where it drew criticism and ridicule.
A parody Facebook page published a photoshopped image of Anusawn as Seri Rungsawang, a folk singer known for the hit song “Can You Call Me a Brother Instead?”