Sand-kicking Koh Larn beach vendor arrested

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Police have arrested the Koh Larn beach attendant caught in an Internet video kicking sand on a tourist who refused to rent a beach chair from him.

A Cambodian identified only as Ping, 25, was taken into custody by provincial and Pattaya police Sept. 6, a day after the YouTube video went viral, sparking more calls for Thailand’s military regime to clear the country’s beaches of all vendors.

The video depicted a Russian woman sitting on a towel on Koh Larn’s Nang Nual Beach who is approached by the masked Ping. The Cambodian speaks to her in broken English and Thai, telling her to rent a beach chair. When she refuses, he circles around her, kicking sand on her and her towel. She finally gets up and argues more, flinging the sand filled towel in Ping’s face. He responds by shoving the tourist and pushing her off the beach.

A YouTube video showing a Koh Larn beach vendor rudely abusing a woman tourist went viral, prompting police to arrest the offender the very next day.A YouTube video showing a Koh Larn beach vendor rudely abusing a woman tourist went viral, prompting police to arrest the offender the very next day.

While shot a year ago, the video plays perfectly into the hands of those who want the National Council for Peace and Order to sweep through Pattaya and do what it did in Phuket and Hua Hin: Remove all beach chairs, umbrella and vendors from the sand. Pattaya officials have been working hard to prevent military intervention and keep some chairs on the beach.

Clearly, the video did not help their case, as evidenced by the swift and stern response from the commander of Region 2’s police and Pattaya officers, who tracked down the offender within a day.

This Cambodian identified only as Ping, 25, was taken into custody by provincial and Pattaya police Sept. 6, a day after the YouTube video went viral.This Cambodian identified only as Ping, 25, was taken into custody by provincial and Pattaya police Sept. 6, a day after the YouTube video went viral.

Police said Ping admitted to being the masked figure on video, but said he was ordered to roust the tourist by his boss, Pae “Charlie” Poaphim, who owns a restaurant behind the beach chairs. It’s unknown whether Pae’s restaurant encroaches on public beachfront, but based on precedents set in Phuket, public officials may come in and demolish his establishment if it does.

The Cambodian was charged with entering Thailand illegally, assault and violating the tourist’s human rights.