Pattaya Baht bus driver’s refusal to give change pushes suicidal student over edge

Police and school friends support the distraught student, carrying him away from the pedestrian crossing.

A Sattahip student threatened to commit suicide because a baht bus driver didn’t give him change.

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The unnamed student stood atop a Sukhumvit Road pedestrian crossing near the Royal Thai Marines headquarters Sept. 14, threatening to jump. Police and rescue volunteers managed to talk down the student and he was transferred to a local hospital.

Friends and passersby run as fast as they could to stop the distressed student from hurting himself.

The youth said he became distressed after taking a white baht bus from Pattaya – a ride that normally costs no more than 30 baht – and paid the driver with a 100-baht note. But the driver claimed he didn’t have change and insulted him when he argued. The baht bus then drove off, leaving the student with no money for lunch.

Friends said that apparently pushed the youth over the edge, noting he often complained about many personal problems in his life.

Police tracked down the baht bus driver, 26-year-old Jatupol Chaochiengyuen. Jatupol refuted the student’s story, saying he never insulted the youth and that he had been unsure at the time what bill his student had paid with, as there were many passengers paying at the same time.

The troubled boy is carried to safety.

Jaranya Chaochiengyuen, 47, Jatupol’s father and owner of the truck, said there was no intention to cheat the student and the fare issue was just a misunderstanding. Unfortunately, these baht bus driver “misunderstandings” are not unusual, especially during the economic chaos caused by the pandemic.

Land Transport Department officials said there was no firm evidence to charge the driver with overcharging.


Jatupol, the baht bus driver, said he had no intention of insulting the boy or taking his money dishonestly.