It was all smiles and sorry’s at Patong Police Station on Sunday afternoon as an American tourist and a tuk tuk driver kissed and made up after a video of the pair coming to blows over a 200 baht fare went viral.
The clip must have popped up on the Tourist Police chiefs Facebook feed and he was having none of it ordering his team to find the pair and bring them to the station.
It didn’t take long to track down 29-year-old Nicholas Martinez, an American national, and his female friend seen on her ass in the viral video, at their hotel.
Locating Mr Tuk Tuk posed no problems for the boys in brown and once all parties involved were assembled they were asked to explain themselves.
Martinez, who was sporting a shiner, told cops he and his friend Emma Francis wanted to take the tuk tuk from Bangla Rd to their hotel on Soi Rat Uthit 200 1.
He believed the price quoted to him was 20 baht a head meaning the fare would come to 40 baht but once they arrived just after 5am at the Poppa Palace Hotel the driver wanted 200 baht which the tourist wasn’t for paying.
This led to a confrontation between the pair which is where the smartphone footage picked up the action.
Mr Tuk Tuk’s story was the fare quoted was always 200 baht telling cops the tourist was drunk and it was him who initiated the fight.
The American admitted to being drunk and didn’t remember if he threw the first punch or not.
The end result of this bout was a 2,000 baht fine for both men involved for causing a disturbance in a public place.
Martinez was then sent off to the hospital to have his eye checked out and Mr Tuk Tuk was told a report would be sent to the provincial transport office about his antics.
Police reminded everyone that when matters like this arise with tourists, those involved should always call police to negotiate disputes peacefully and never to resort to violence as it’s bad for the image of Phuket and Thailand.