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The Open Bar Party ticket that led to the bashing of tourists in Patong

Phuket Nightclub Shut Down After Beatings

Saturday, October 10, 2015
PHUKET: A club on Phuket where two tourists were savagely beaten by bouncers has been closed for seven days with the victims telling their side of the story to Australian television.

The White Room, where two Australians with friends on an end-of-season football trip were kicked and elbowed by five ''guards'' in a beating captured on video, has been closed for seven nights with an official investigation likely.

One of the Australians told Channel Nine that the tourists were led to believe a White Room drinks voucher covered part of their bar bill.

But the giveaway could be a scam that carries a penalty of one year in jail or a fine of up to 20,000 baht.

The President of the Entertainment Association of Patong, Weerawit Kuresombut, told Phuketwan today that the White Room has been closed for seven days from last night as a penalty for the violence of the bouncers. He said he knew nothing about them being sacked.

''It's not legal in Thailand to dump or discount the price of alcohol so we will investigate this allegation,'' he said. Voucher cards are often used as a come-on for tourists in Patong, the nightlife hub of Phuket.

A White Room Nightclub ticket to the Open Bar Party produced by one of the victims says: ''This ticket gives you UNLIMITED DRINKS 10pm to 1am for only 800 baht.''

Illegal or not, the voucher appears to be against the spirit of Thai laws that discourage alcohol promotion and consumption.

Ninemsn reported today that one of the Australian men who were attacked, ''Aaron from Mildura,'' said his friends were confronted for standing on the steps of the VIP area at the White Room nightclub in Patong on Tuesday night.

Aaron and his friend Trev were still in the club but two other mates on the end-of-season footy trip were milling around outside after one of them was booted out for taking off his shirt.

''We were standing on the steps of the VIP area, and one of the security guards came over and he's being pretty aggressive from the word go,'' he told ninemsn.

''And he grabbed Trev from around the neck and pushed him down the steps.

''I went to go in between them and I was king-hit from the side, and that's all I remember.''

The report says that as Aaron lay unconscious in the club, his friend was taken outside and brutally beaten in an attack filmed on a mobile phone.

As the two other friends rushed in to intervene they too were attacked.

The security guards told police the group had refused to pay for their drinks, a claim Aaron rejected.

"That's garbage, we went in there with tickets with drinks," he said.

"We had drink cards that were 'drink-as-much as you want' from 10 until one for 800 baht."

Despite the beatings they received, none of the group were seriously hurt.

The Chief of the Kathu District, which oversees Patong, hit the White Room with a seven-day closure from last night that imposes a serious financial penalty for the violence of the guards.

Khun Weerawit said that further action will follow.

''All of the venue owners in Patong have been called to a meeting with police next Wednesday to discuss this needless violence,'' he said.

''Anyone who has a problem and who fails to deal with it in the right way will be subjected to a minimum two nights' closure.''

From time to time, Australians have become involved in serious incidents in Patong.

The worst came earlier this year when an Australian resident did just what the man who took the telephone video at the White Room did.

Mark Pendlebury crossed a road in Patong to film an eviction from the Taipan nightclub.

He found himself confronted by a security guard and pursued down the street by a gang of men for what's known as a ''pack attack.''

Beaten up and being stomped in the head, Mr Pendlebury drew a knife to save his life and waved it.

A murder change against him over the death of a security guard was later withdrawn when footage from security cameras proved what he said was true.

Before Phuketwan published the first of the footage from a security camera, police and security guards alleged Mr Pendlebury had started the attack.

Local newspapers mostly carried only the police and security guards' account.

In the past, young Australian tourists have been seriously knifed in pack attacks in Patong.

Retribution continues to be carried out by security guards and tuk-tuk drivers despite officials telling them to react in a non-violent manner and to call the police immediately.

Aaron told ninemsn the group decided not to go to police because they feared being locked up themselves.

The party of six tourists arrived back in Australia this morning.

VIDEO Guards Evict Aussie Tourists

WARNING: This video contains brutal violence
The original Facebook posting has been removed but a version can be found here:
http://goo.gl/lXjb8u

Comments

Comments have been disabled for this article.

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This place is the one that employs annoying Farang touts to hand out those tickets I presume. If it says 800 baht for unlimited drinks to get you in but doesn't honour that, well they are inviting trouble and disputes. Add in over-zealous bouncers and you have the perfect storm for violence. Nobody likes being chiseled on their bar bill.

Posted by Arun Muruga on October 10, 2015 13:16

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@ Arun

With all due respect, and I do have a lot of it for your informed and usually balanced comments here but when I look back at what you wrote about this incident yesterday, I can't help but to conclude you are contradicting yourself.

Yesterday you were crucifying these Aussies and now you suddenly see what I have to say is the 3rd side of the story, according to you.

There is absolutely nothing that would and can justify what the guards did.

Furthermore, as is now coming to light, it's looking more like they were a victim of a scam.

They obviously called out the scam and anyone who has lived in Thailand long enough knows how poorly locals react to being caught red-handed and confronted in public.

A man with Caucasian appearance wearing the same black attire appears in the video. I would really like to know what his connection to the club is and who owns and runs The White Room.

Their promotion in April asked customers to contact Nick.

Nick who ?

I fully understand why the Aussies did not go to the police. SOP here is then for the other side to file counter charges, which means the original victims are prevented from leaving Thailand until the proceedings have been concluded.

This is a serious flaw in the judicial system here and puts foreign victims at great disadvantage.

They should be allowed to file charges using a RELIABLE lawyer (easier said than found). I hope they will consider this option and not let these thugs get away with this brutal assault.

In the meantime the silence from local authorities continues. Not a word from the "Brave enough to change" Governor either.

Why ?

This will NOT go away. It's gone viral around the world and pretending it never happened will not work.

Posted by Herbert on October 10, 2015 15:21

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Of the currently open nightclubs on bangla, all but one offer these 'all you can drink open bars'.

Posted by NSW on October 10, 2015 15:27

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Well I am only being half serious when talking about 'bogans' and I certainly don't condone any form of violence. I did pub security in Australia when younger and it can be a nightmare dealing with drunks.

You do get certain tourists acting like fools but it isn't any one nation, it's usually alcohol related and it usually involves a drunken person offending a local.

However, the pack mentality is also true with many Thai males capable of extreme violence and willing to jump into fights involving tourists.

Using myself as an example, I have never had a problem but I don't drink alcohol and every single problem I've seen always involves booze.

Many reasonable and well behaved people turn into total dickheads if drunk enough. This includes both Thais and farangs. This alcohol fueled violence is a problem world wide and Thailand is no exception.

There was no excuse or justification for the kicking given out by the bouncers, that we all can agree on.

Posted by Arun Muruga on October 10, 2015 17:06

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> two tourists were savagely beaten....
>Despite the beatings they received, none of the group were seriously hurt.

Uh? From savagely beaten to not seriously hurt in the same article?How does that work?

Posted by Cracaphat on October 10, 2015 23:02

Editor Comment:

This comment is clearly a cry for attention. Your problem is so small we won't even look. You can fix it yourself.

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Firstly, nobody should be subjected to extreme violence and kicking somebody on the floor is just cowardly and in excusable. But I still do not understand how things went from a fake drinks promotion to standing on steps of a VIP area to violence. It is quite a big leap.

Posted by Tarqn on October 11, 2015 17:09

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Tarqn,
Its caused by testosterone. When young, it causes you to wake up the next morning battered and bruised and when older, the lack of it has the same result.

Posted by MoW on October 11, 2015 18:08


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