Tourist assaulted on Phi Phi, two teenagers detained

American tourist Stephen Trimble posts a story on his Facebook page detailing an encounter on Koh Phi Phi when he tried to stop a man stealing a purse on the beach, but was then assaulted by a group of youths. (Photo taken from @Trimbleezy

KRABI: Police have detained two young suspects in the attack on an American man who tried to stop a thief making off with a purse on the beach on Koh Phi Phi last Saturday.

American tourist Stephen Trimble, 26, posted details of the incident on his Instagram and Facebook pages on Tuesday.

Pol Maj Gen Sakchai Limcharoen, chief of Krabi police, went to Phi Phi on Friday to follow up the progress in the investigation. 

The provincial police chief said local police told him the tourist looked "meun mao", dazed or inebriated, when he approached a policeman to report the attack, and was told to go to the station the following day to file a complaint. But he did not return.

Police went to look for him and were told he had already left for Koh Pha-ngan in Surat Thani, Thai media reported. 

The incident happened on the night of March 9.

On his Facebook page, the American freelance photographer posted a story detailing the incident: “A few nights ago on the beach in Phi Phi, I stopped a local from stealing some girls purse on the beach. Things quickly went downhill from there! The girl was in the water and left her things on the sand. A perfect day payday for a piece of shit low life thief preying on a tourist.”

He wrote that he yelled at the man to stop. The man threw down the purse and walked away. Shortly after,  the man returned with three friends armed with wooden sticks and a kayak paddle. They came straight at him and attacked him, he said.

The tourist said was bleeding heavily from his head, arms and leg. He walked to the nearest beach hostel to get help and came across a police officer. He explained to him what happened, but was told to come to the station the next day to tell police there, he wrote on his Facebook page,Trimbleezy Photography @trimbleezy.

Pol Maj Gen Sakchai said there were three suspects. One of them, a 17-year-old, had been arrested.  Police were hunting down the two others, examining footage from closed circuit television cameras and questioning a doctor and nurses at a clinic where the tourist was treated for his injuries 

Koh Pha-ngan police and tourist police had been asked to help locate the tourist and tell him to file a complaint, the Krabi police chief said.

Pol Lt Col Chokdee Mabangyang, chief inspector at Koh Phi Phi police, said later a second suspect had been detained for questioning. The investigation was continuing.

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