PHUKET — Police said Sunday a Norwegian tourist stands accused of killing a British man at a luxury hotel in Phuket province last week over a noise row gone violent.
Roger Bullman was charged with fatal physical assault for the death of 34-year-old Amitpal Singh Bajaj at Centara Grand Hotel in the early morning of Aug. 21, according to a local police chief. Bullman is currently out on bail and appears to pose no flight risk, the officer said.
“The court believed he had no intent to flee,” Karon Police Station Chief Prawit Sutthirueangarun said in an interview. “We have also notified the Immigration Bureau … we can summon him any time for questioning.”
Citing evidence at the crime scene, Col. Prawit said Bullman, 52, kicked down a connecting door into Bajaj’s hotel room after the British man’s complaint of loud noises escalated into a heated argument.
The suspect appeared to put Bajaj in a choke-hold until he died of asphyxiation, Col. Prawit said. He also said Bajaj appeared to have grabbed a butter knife and tried to stab at Bullman while the two were struggling, leaving a small wound on the Norwegian’s left shoulder.
“I believe he [Bajal] was acting in self-defense,” the station chief said. He described Bullman as a former soldier with strong build and “martial art” skill.
Bajaj was holidaying with his wife and young child, Prawit added. The Norwegian was granted bail after a court appearance.
Bullman was charged with physical assault leading to death. Charge of preditated murder was not filed because the suspect showed no prior intent to kill the victim, according to the police.
Prawit said Bullman told investigators he was drunk at the time.