Home » Phuket couple apologise for beach steps incident

Phuket couple apologise for beach steps incident

Phuket couple apologise for beach steps incident

Swiss national Urs Fehr and his wife Khanuengnit attend a meeting with officials. (Photo: Achadthaya Chuenniran)

A Swiss man who allegedly kicked a woman for sitting on the steps near his Phuket villa, and his Thai wife who berated her, apologised on Friday for their actions.

The wife said she and her husband thought the doctor and her friend were Chinese tourists, who had caused problems earlier by intruding on their property.

The steps where the incident took place were not even on the couple’s property but were found to be encroaching on public beach land. Authorities have ordered them demolished.  

Urs “David” Fehr, 45, and his wife Khanuengnit drew a big crowd of reporters and onlookers when they arrived at the Phuket provincial hall on Friday to explain their side of the story.

Coverage of the incident — and a seemingly damning video — have gone viral online and drawn heavy criticism against the couple.

Mr Fehr and his wife run the Green Elephant Sanctuary Park in Phuket.

Ms Khanuengnit said some Chinese tourists had earlier entered the villa she rented, causing her to panic as she was swimming at the time and her husband was not present. She later alerted the owner of the villa development.

On the night of Feb 24, she said, her husband thought the same group of intruders had returned. Upon seeing two women sitting on the steps at the bottom of the property, he grabbed his mobile phone and ran towards them to take video but slipped on the steps, she said.

Her husband later went to see a doctor who treated his wounds and confirmed they were caused by slipping, she added.

Mr Fehr apologised for the incident, insisting he had no intention to harm the doctor. He also said he mistook the woman and her friend for the intruders from the earlier incident.

Thandao Chandam, a doctor at Dibuk Hospital in Phuket, on Thursday filed an assault complaint with police against the Swiss man.

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