Beach blunder: Swiss man and wife regret assaulting Thai doctor in Phuket (video)
Beach blunder: Swiss man and wife regret assaulting Thai doctor in Phuket (video)Legacy

An underfire Swiss man and his Thai wife apologised to a Thai doctor for physically assaulting and insulting her after she innocently sat on the steps to their beachside villa. The foreign man claims the incident was an accident, stating that he mistakenly identified the victim and her friend as a previous Chinese trespasser.

The Thai doctor, 26 year old Tarndao Chandam, insisted on pursuing the charge against the Swiss man, 45 year old Urs Fehr, for physically assaulting her on the beach near Yamu Cape in the Thalang district of Phuket on February 24.

Tarndao told the public that the Swiss man kicked her from behind while his wife insulted her and threatened to use her connection with high-ranking police to put the doctor in jail for trespassing.

Fehr came forward to reveal that he did not mean to attack or kick the Thai woman in the back. He insists that he accidentally kicked her while he was stumbling on the steps to his rental property. Fehr’s Thai lawyer confirmed this information, stating he saw the video of the incident and confirmed that it was clearly an accident.

The video was later shared on Thai social media and went viral. Many netizens agreed that the incident was a physical assault and not an accident as mentioned by Fehr and his lawyer.

In the 17-second video, Fehr is seen walking toward Tarndao and her friend, who were sitting on the steps. Fehr can be heard shouting, “Get the f*ck out of here!” It is followed by a thud sound. However, the video did not show clearly whether it came from a kick or a trip.

Swiss apology

Fehr and his Thai wife held a press conference today, March 1, to share their side of the story and apologise to the victim.

The wife explained that a few days earlier, a Chinese woman entered their villa premises while she was swimming and frightened her. She reported the incident to the accommodation’s juristic person to remove the Chinese man from the area.

Fehr’s wife informed him of the incident, making him worried. According to his wife, her husband approached Tarndao and her friend and shouted vulgarities at them thinking they were the Chinese nationals she mentioned.

The wife issued an apology to the doctor and her friend, explaining that she was sleepy and angry at the time, leading to an inappropriate conversation with the victims. She emphasised that she did not mean to threaten or insult anyone.

She also admitted mentioning her connection with a high-ranking police officer, clarifying that her son is a police officer but his rank is only a police sergeant. She added that if she had known the doctor and her friend were medical workers, she would have invited them to rest inside her villa.

Fehr apologised to the doctor as well. He said he did not intend to harm her but was worried about the Chinese trespasser. He added that he recorded a video of the incident to file a complaint to the accommodation’s juristic person about the invasion.

Fehr’s Thai lawyer also issued an apology to the public, acknowledging that his interpretation of the video footage differed from the prevailing viewpoint. He reiterated that he perceived the incident as an accident and emphasised that his defence of Fehr was not motivated by financial considerations.

Currently, the police have not issued any updates regarding the legal proceedings of the case. Tarndao declared on February 29 her intention to pursue compensation from Fehr, with the funds earmarked for beach maintenance and preservation initiatives.



UPDATE: Swiss man denies assaulting Thai woman, attributing incident as accident (video)

A Swiss man denied physically assaulting a Thai female doctor for sitting on the steps of his luxury villa in Phuket, saying it was an accident when he stumbled on the stairs, causing his foot to accidentally kick the doctor’s back.

The 26 year old female doctor, Tarndao Chandam, took to social to share that a Swiss man, later identified as 45 year old Urs Fehr, allegedly attacked her from behind when she and her friend were sitting on some steps outside his villa on the beach near Yamu Cape in the Thalang district of Phuket.

Tarndao thought the staircase was public property as it was situated on the public beach. She claimed that both Fehr and his Thai wife shouted vulgarities at her, threatening to sue her for trespassing and asserting connections with high-ranking police in the area.

Fehr later gave an interview to a local news outlet, โหดจัง จังหวัดภูเก็ต, yesterday, February 28, insisting that he did not physically assault Tarndao on the incident day. He stated that it was an accident. He tripped on the steps and his foot accidentally kicked Tarndao’s back.

Fehr stated that he did not expect the matter to become this serious and would like to apologise to Tarndao if he hurt her that night. Fehr’s Thai lawyer told the media that he asked the woman and her friend to leave his property due to concerns about the safety of himself and his family, citing a previous break-in by a Thai criminal.

The lawyer said he was confident that no physical assault took place that day after reviewing a video that Fehr recorded. He asserted that the video did not show any harm to the Thai woman in the incident. However, he did not disclose the video to the public and intended to show it to the police during questioning.

Bad steps

The Thalang Administrative Office (TAO) conducted a further investigation at the villa today, February 29. According to the TAO, the steps were constructed on the public beach without permission so they have ordered a real estate developer to remove the steps within three days.

The Deputy Commander of the Phuket Provincial Police, Passakorn Sontikul, assured to provide justice to both parties. He revealed that officers already questioned Tarndao today and would summon Fehr for questioning tomorrow, March 1.

According to Passakorn, the immigration police would investigate Fehr’s action. His visa would be revoked if he was found guilty. Passakorn added that the penalty for an assault depended on the severity of the victim’s injury.

Tarndao revealed to the media today that she would not drop the charge and would fight for justice. She added she would accept the lawmakers’ decision if she lost the case but would seek compensation if she won. She intended to donate the compensation received for the preservation and care of the beach at the incident scene.

The local news outlet, โหดจัง จังหวัดภูเก็ต, also urged the relevant departments to survey all public beaches in the province. The reporter highlighted that some public beaches were illegally occupied by business operators and foreigners and called for the return of these areas to the locals for public benefit.

Fehr is the founder of the Green Elephant Sanctuary Park near Surin Beach in the Thalang district of Phuket. The sanctuary is dedicated to providing a better life for abused elephants, promising not to chain or beat them. It offers a tour package allowing visitors to interact with the animals and contribute to animal protection.



ORIGINAL STORY: Beach blues: Thai woman assaulted by Swiss man in Phuket

A female doctor in Thailand is seeking justice after being attacked by a Swiss man for sitting on the staircase of his beachfront villa in Phuket. The foreign man is reported to be the owner of an elephant sanctuary with alleged connections with the high-ranking Thai police.

The father of the victim, Chaiyachot Uttamang, took to Facebook to share the story of his daughter who is a doctor at Bangkok Hospital Phuket. Chaiyachot said his daughter was physically assaulted by a 45 year old Swiss man, whose identity remained undisclosed, on the beach at the Yamu Cape in the Thalang district of Phuket at 7.30pm on February 24.

According to Chaiyachot, the female doctor and her colleague had dinner at a Taste Yamu restaurant and enjoyed the beach after the meal. They encountered a security guard on the beach who permitted them to relax at the spot, leading them to believe it was a public beach.

The doctor sat on the steps connecting luxury villa number 23 to the beach, thinking it was a public staircase. Unexpectedly, she was attacked from behind. When she turned around she found the attacker was a foreign man weighing over 100 kilogrammes.

The foreign man, later identified as a Swiss national, recorded a video while assaulting her and kept shouting vulgarities at her and her friend.

They rushed to seek help from the security guard, who came to the incident scene with them. Upon their return, they met the Swiss man’s Thai wife and hoped the situation would improve.

Saves elephants, hurts women

However, the doctor’s hope was shattered when the Thai woman shouted abuse at them.

“Hey, bi*ches. Don’t you know that you shouldn’t sit outside my home? I can shoot you two right away, and no one could arrest me because my son is a police officer. I know the police chief, and I will put you in jail. I will call the chief now!”

The Swiss man also shouted at the doctor and her friend.

“Are you local? Are you Thai? You know, I am not paying a million baht a month to rent this villa for you to sit, OK?”

Two police officers arrived 15 minutes later, stating that both parties violated the law. The doctor trespassed on the foreigner’s property and he physically assaulted her. The officers urged the doctor not to file a complaint and asked her to resolve the issue on the spot.

Police said the penalty for the trespassing charge was a lot harsher. It can result in four years in jail while the foreign man could pay compensation to end the physical assault charge.

According to the doctor, she offered three options to the foreigner and his wife: apologise mutually and end the matter, separate without an apology, or proceed with legal proceedings.

The foreigner rejected the agreement and ordered the doctor to apologise to him. He insisted that he would never apologise for the assault and would file a complaint to the police to ensure the doctor went to jail.

The doctor decided to file a complaint against the foreign man at Thalang Police Station. She discovered he was the owner of an elephant sanctuary in Phuket, prompting her to question his behaviour.

“This man promises to protect elephants but hurts a woman?”

Concerned that their complaint might be ignored due to the Swiss man’s influence and connections, the doctor and her father shared their story publicly, hoping to garner support for justice.

The story Beach blunder: Swiss man and wife regret assaulting Thai doctor in Phuket (video) as seen on Thaiger News.

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Author: Petch Petpailin