PATTAYA – A Grab Car driver has filed defamation charges against a Pattaya cabbie after the two brawled on video in a wholesale store parking lot.
Wuthichai Petchsopol, 40, surrendered to police Sept. 28, four days after a video of the altercation was posted to Facebook. The Phuket native, and operator of a tour company, said he was hospitalized and could not report to police until now.
He volunteered to pay the 2,000-baht fine for violating Land Transport Department regulations that have made GrabTaxi PTE’s and Uber Technologies Co.’s ride-sharing services illegal in Thailand, but filed his own complaint against the unidentified metered-cab driver who, he said, started the fight and used foul language.
The video, posted online by the cab driver, shows the cabbie blocking the exit to Makro North Pattaya and then confronting the Grab Car driver. Online speculation had the fight beginning because Wuthichai appeared to try to run over the cabbie, but the Grab Car driver told police that his assailant had taken his computer tablet and he was merely trying to get it back when the fists began to fly.
Wuthichai said it was another example of Pattaya taxi drivers chasing down private-car drivers and violently confronting them.
Authorities have threatened to double or triple fines against warring Pattaya public-transport drivers, saying vigilante violence over smartphone-enabled ride-sharing services must end.