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Simon Wilson Menzies and his wife Sukanya at a Phuket police station

Phuket's 'Lunatic' Brawl: Fighting Still Not Over

Thursday, December 22, 2011
PHUKET: This is Simon Wilson Menzies, the Australian who owns a Phuket bar and whose 33rd birthday party went horribly wrong when he and American Junie Browning came to blows.

Just who was the aggressor remains the key issue.

Both men visited a Phuket police station yesterday, still walking wounded from their encounter at the Native Bar in Phuket's beachside Karon district, a violent encounter that continued later at a local hospital.

Mr Menzies yesterday showed Phuketwan the back brace he is wearing, and the 18 stitches in one hand, along with a leg wound that is home to five stitches.

The tall Aussie went to Chalong Police Station with his Thai wife, Sukanya Sisomboon, 25, who had eight stitches in a finger.

Yesterday it was strictly shadow-boxing as both parties in the now-notorious brawl that spread from the bar to Patong Hospital met with police.

First, Mr Menzies' lawyer went to talk to police, followed by the couple. Junie Browning and his girlfriend Laura are thought to have been in a nearby coffee shop, waiting for a call.

Mr Menzies told police he did not wish to mediate a solution. The biggest point of difference in the two accounts of how the birthday party went wrong centres on which man threw the first punch.

Browning, 26, and his girlfriend told police that he was set upon by about 15 expats at the bar that night, and that his heart stopped twice in the ambulance on the way to hospital.

Later, after the brawl continued at the hospital, the pair fled and collected their belongings before catching a taxi off Phuket to a quieter neighboring province, Krabi.

On the way off the island, the couple told police, Mr Browning received a telephone call from Mr Menzies.

The men did not know each other before that Sunday night but the Brownings had been invited to the birthday party by a mutual friend, Maryjane Castro.

She had given Mr Menzies the phone number of Mr Browning, who has fought as ''The Lunatic''.

While Ms Castro remains central to both accounts of the men's bruising encouter, she is reported to have since left Phuket.

The Brownings say that Junie and Menzies didn't get on from the beginning at the birthday party. Mr Menzies interrupted a conversation between Junie and Ms Castro and the fight began.

Browning's girlfriend Laura says that only expats were involved, and that she was punched and bruised as beer bottles were broken and the fight escalated.

Mr Menzies and his wife tell a different story. He says Browning and Ms Castro were arguing outside the bar. When he interrupted and told them to enjoy themselves, Browning started the fight, Mr Menzies says.

Taxi drivers from a nearby cab rank dragged Mr Browning away three times, but each time he cam back fighting, Mr Menzies told police.

Whether the two men will eventually settle for mediation remains undetermined at this stage.

Mr Browning told police that in the telephone call he received from Mr Menzies, Mr Menzies demanded 300,000 baht in compensation and added: ''If you don't pay up, get out of the country.''

Mr Browning went to Krabi then flew from the nearby city of Had Yai to Bangkok where he stayed with friends until returning to Phuket on Monday.

Mr Menzies is due to make a visa run off Phuket on December 26. Police told him yesterday that he is free to travel.

Mr Browning says he will require more medical treatment and needs to consult a specialist about his head injuries.

He says he will not be able to even train as a mixed martial arts fighter for six months.

Comments

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No damage to property, just to a couple of egos... What's the problem here???

Time to grow up and walk away, gents.

Posted by kobee77 on December 22, 2011 10:46

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Just so I know for future reference...what did I write that forced you to edit my post.
Thank you.

Posted by kobee77 on December 22, 2011 10:55

Editor Comment:

The i word (as used by you) and the s word (as used by others) are not exactly terms of endearment. We'd prefer people didn't waste energy on gratuitous insults. They don't add to informed debate.

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Seem like charming couples all round!!!

Posted by Mister Ree on December 22, 2011 11:25

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Six of one and half a dozen of the other.

Based on the FACTS that some people have severe cuts to their hands and others have severe cuts to their heads it doesn't take Sherlock Holmes to figure out who was using glasses and bottles as weapons.

These particular injuries DO match up with Mr and Mrs Browning's account of the incident. Which has remained consistent on each iteration.

The same can not be said for the other parties involved, although in fairness I can't remember my 33rd Birthday with absolute clarity either.

Just my impartial take on what's been reported on Phuket Wan.

Posted by steve on December 22, 2011 13:26

Editor Comment:

It would take security camera footage to determine who did what and whether some defensive actions were justified. Mr Browning talked of a ''normal fight'' escalating when a bottle and a beer mug were used. Other people would say there is no such thing as a ''normal'' fight. Both men suffered nasty wounds.

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I guess cage fighters are best left in cages!

Posted by Nip on December 22, 2011 15:29

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Phuket has really gone down hill.

Posted by glen on December 22, 2011 16:38

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'The cameras were probably not aligned properly' is the usual excuse.

Posted by william Dale on December 22, 2011 18:15

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Boys come tu us, we invite you to enjoy easy shipyard job in comfortable North Scandinavian weather conditions, for beginning one 12 hours night shift, then it turns out how hard you are. Hope that you won't cry after two hours for yours mamas. Be men...but don't forget warm panties.

Posted by Traders on December 22, 2011 18:29

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(moderated)

Posted by marco on December 22, 2011 21:20

Editor Comment:

Did you have something to say, marco? if not, please don't bore us with old links to slow sites.

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"Sukanya Sisomboon, 25, who had eight stitches in a finger."

Short stitches or a long finger?

Posted by Eric on December 22, 2011 22:17

Editor Comment:

Eric, the wounds are real and there is nothing comic about a brawl involving this level of needless violence.
We don't have medical expertise but we have seen the finger. Doctors use big stitches for big wounds, and microstitches for woulds in essential, more sensitive places that need more care.

Don't play the fool. Everyone involved was fortunate to escape serious injury, or worse.

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As a general rule of thumb, never trust anyone with a tattoo in Thailand. That applies to falangs and Thais alike. I have employed several people in my business with tattoos and all ended up causing problems or showing dishonesty or a generally poor work attitude. Tattoo people are drug users. I now employ 5 staff none of whom have tattoos (yes, I have checked every inch of their body) and at last I found the formula for successful employees. No tattoos = good, solid, conservative, reliable people.

Posted by Lim on December 23, 2011 05:00

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Lim, what are you talking about? I for one have tattoos, i am not a drug user and i can works as well as any other person, in fact i work harder than the majority of people i have come across working here.
Your comment has actually made me so angry, and it shows what a small minded person you are.
Do not tarnish everybody with the same brush.
I would like to see your reply, Lim.

Posted by phuket madness on December 23, 2011 09:44

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@ Lim: your comment about people having tattoos is ridiculous. My bro is covered with tattoos and is the nicest guy on earth. I have none and I'm not that cool...

Posted by Wordless on December 23, 2011 09:45

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Lim you are sick puppy.

Posted by Robin on December 23, 2011 11:03

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Interesting how you report the fight "continued later" in a local hospital. Perhaps if you said Junie "restarted" it by attacking a helpless man in a hospital bed, then fleeing, it might throw a different light on it.
It'll be a sad day when it becomes acceptable to walk away from this sort of behavior.

Posted by Chris Hill on December 23, 2011 14:58

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Lim, You make a massive generalisation and then come out with this corker "yes, I have checked every inch of their body" Your job interviews must be very interesting. "ok that's the first part of the interview concluded now if you wouldn't mind taking off all your clothes and bending over thanks" Must be great working for you.

Posted by Paul on December 23, 2011 19:54

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@Lim: That might be a bit of a generalisation, since it seems that 95 percent of people here have one. But I don't think I would be particularly fond of a guy having a hand grenade tattooed on his arm as in this case.

Posted by Mike on December 24, 2011 07:24

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''If you don't pay up, get out of the country.''
isn't it funny that everyone is 'connected' over here by some kind of mafia!
i'm personally not worried by people's threats to include other people because i'm protected by the somtam mafia!!

Posted by Hulkster on December 24, 2011 12:35

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@lim You deserve to be arrested for your bad behavior.

Posted by dun on December 24, 2011 16:32

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Paul, I am from Korea and a fully body examination is standard personnel hiring procedure in my country. If people really want to have a job, they should expect to be examined, right? And tested for drugs. People lie about their criminal record. You can photograph body tattoos and check online, you can see what prison tattoos look like.

Posted by Lim on December 31, 2011 18:36


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