BANGKOK — A woman filed a complaint to the police Tuesday after she was allegedly assaulted by a motorcycle taxi while using the Grab ride-hailing service in front of Siam Paragon mall.
Arielle Struhl, 27, was shopping for Secret Santa gifts at the downtown mall around 9:30pm Monday. She called a Grab bike to take her home, but was allegedly shoved off of the bike by a motorcycle taxi, or win. Arielle said he threatened to hurt her if she went to the police.
“When I said I would call the police after he shoved me, he said he would make me suffer worse than this,” Arielle said in an interview Tuesday morning.
Police Capt. Nikhom Inunchote, who took down Arielle’s complaint, said by phone Tuesday afternoon that he would consider if the case could be pursued for criminal charges.
“I’ll take it into consideration,” Nikhom said. “There have been a couple physical altercations filed at the station regarding win before, but they are usually between the win driver and the Grab driver.”
Arielle said that police requested her to get a medical certificate from a hospital in order to pursue the case further, but she only got a cut on her finger.
On Monday night, her Grab Bike met her in front of Bangkok Bank, near the crossroads of Henri Dunant and Rama I Roads. Arielle said the win in question then crossed over from the other side of the Siam Paragon car exit and started yelling at her and her Grab at the top of his lungs.
“He saw me climb on the bike and ran over, screaming at us that Grab was illegal,” Arielle said.
The win then allegedly grabbed the back of the Grab bike to prevent it from driving off, turned off the engine, and blocked the bike from leaving. Arielle said she asked the win what his problem was, and she said he continued to yell at her, while taking photos of the Grab bike driver and his license plate.
“The poor guy was just so quiet, looking back and forth between me and the win motosai,” she said. “He obviously didn’t want to have a problem with the win.”
Eventually, Arielle tried to climb on the bike in an attempt to leave, but she said that the win shoved her off of the bike, she said.
Arielle then took some photos of the win, who she said quickly took off his win motorcycle jacket.
“Go ahead and take photos. I’m not scared of social media! I’m not in the wrong,” he allegedly said.
For her safety and the Grab bike’s, Arielle decided to cancel her Grab and leave the area. She went up onto the BTS skywalk where a BTS security guard was watching, and then posted photos of the win to her Facebook.
“He came to see what all the noise was about. I told him what had happened, but he said I had to talk to Paragon guards if I wanted anything done,” Arielle said. “There were absolutely no Paragon guards around anywhere.”
Tensions between state-regulated taxis and private ride-hailing applications such as Grab have risen in recent years. Confrontations have sometimes flared up in the streets, such as when a tuk-tuk driver in Chiang Mai kicked a Grab driver. In May 2016, a viral clip showed a win near Chulalongkorn University, in the same area as Siam Paragon, snatching the key of a Grab driver and assaulting the passenger, a student.