Yesterday, police officers arrested a leader of a pro-democracy protester who headbutted a 52-year-old Russian man during an argument in Pattaya on Sunday evening.
Pol Col Khemmarin Pissamai, superintendent of Muang Pattaya police, said that criminal charges have been filed against Narathiwat “Kane” Khamma over the incident.
He said the Russian man, later identified as Vladislav Timokin had been admitted to hospital in Pattaya.
The protest leader will face more criminal charges if the Russian victim’s injuries prove to be serious or lasting, added the police chief.
While Narathiwat was being detained at Muang Pattaya police station yesterday, members of the anti-government group in Pattaya gathered in front of the police station until the protester was released on 10,000 baht bail.
Sirawith “Ja New” Serithiwat, a political activist who witnessed the incident, said he was trying unsuccessfully to reason with the Russian, whose daughter had begun to cry, before Narathiwat, with whom he said he’s not acquainted, stormed up and headbutted the man.
The incident occurred shortly after 6 pm when about 20 protesters gathered at Jomtien beach in tambon Nong Prue of Bang Lamung district to stage a small rally.
While Narathiwat was giving a speech in both Thai and English, the Russian man began heckling them, according to onlookers.
The man described the protesters as “rubbish” and blamed them for the economic downturn, which prompted the ensuing altercation.