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Jiraporn ''Joy'' Choochep, newlywed wife of attack victim Kurt Trotnow

Phuket Attack Victim Holds Key to Catching Gang of Patong Thugs

Wednesday, August 31, 2011
PHUKET: The gang who bashed a German expat unconscious in Patong are only likely to be arrested if he recovers and is able to identify his attackers.

Efforts by Phuket police to track the faces of the attackers on security cameras and to encourage witnesses to identify them have failed.

Kurt Trotnow, 53, remains barely conscious in the intensive care unit at a Phuket City hospital with his wife Jiraporn ''Joy'' Choochep, 30, at his bedside, hoping for signs of his recovery.

''There have been some good signs,'' she said last night. ''He can move a little and he can nod now.''

The couple, who had been partners for three years, married just last month and were planning a trip back to Germany on September 7 for an operation for Khun Kurt on September 15.

He has a blood condition and some of his blood vessels are artificial. Despite the condition, he leads an active life.

''We live in Kathu and Kurt really enjoys his golf with friends,'' Khun Joy said.

''We don't often go out at night but last Thursday night was an exception because we had the chance to catch up with friends in Patong.''

Soon after ending the party about 11pm, the pair decided to check out Soi Bangla and hopped into a tuk-tuk not far from Soi Paradise. Khun Joy said they negotiated a fare of 100 baht to go the short distance to Taipan, at the top of Soi Bangla.

''When we got there, I paid the 100 baht to the driver's wife and got out,'' Khun Joy said. ''I was a bit tipsy - I seldom have much to drink - and I really did not get a good look at what happened next.''

She did recall, however, that about six men came from all directions to beat her husband.

''I vaguely remember seeing a man in a white t-shirt, like the one that our tuk-tuk driver had been wearing. But I didn't get a good look at his face.''

Two of Khun Joy's cousins, one a motorcycle taxi rider and the other an illegal cab driver, happened to be nearby.

Neither of the cousins saw enough to help Patong police with their inquiries, although one did say that he believed Khun Kurt became aggressive first with the tuk-tuk driver when the man demanded 200 baht, not 100 baht, for the short trip.

''Police arrived on the scene within two to three minutes,'' Khun Joy said, ''but by then the tuk-tuk and the men had all vanished.''

The case now hinges on Kurt Trotnow making a recovery that enables him to remember what his assailants look like, and being willing to pursue the case even though he may also face a charge.

As the most recent example of violence by tuk-tuk drivers, honorary consuls are certain to raise the case today when they join Phuket Police Commander Major General Pekad Tantipong and other Phuket officials for the quarterly meeting with Phuket Governor Tri Augkaradacha in Phuket City.

The other aspect likely to be raised is why police failed to inform German honorary consul Dirk Naumann of the attack. Phuket police have undertaken to inform envoys promptly of all serious incidents involving expats, whether residents or tourists.

Mr Naumann only learned of the assault this week when one of Mr Trotnow's friends visited the German consulate with a copy of the police report made by Khun Joy immediately after Thursday night's attack.

Other cases involving tuk-tuk drivers and jet-ski operators who scam tourists continue to alarm the honorary consuls.
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Comments

Comments have been disabled for this article.

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TukTuk should have a TukTuk number well visible as well the driver should wear a vest with the same number in order to identify the driver and the TukTuk in case of wrongdoing.
Police does it with motorsai; so why not with the Tuktuk?
A large number on the driver's vest and the same number on the TukTuk should make folks of Phuket to be aware of arrest in case of aggression.

Posted by Whistle-Blower on August 31, 2011 11:50

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It's shocking that not even the lady's family can remember what these guys look like. So very sad over 100 baht

Posted by phuket madness on August 31, 2011 14:59

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Two of Khun Joy's cousins, one a motorcycle taxi rider and the other an illegal cab driver, happened to be nearby.

Neither of the cousins saw enough to help Patong police with their inquiries

Surprise! Surprise!

Posted by Nick on August 31, 2011 16:14

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The new government at least leave an imprint of good, for e.g. illegal casinos closed their tents. Law enforcement officials not allowed to look the other way any more. Good start.

Posted by Lena on August 31, 2011 17:17


Wednesday January 20, 2021
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