What would you do?

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fountainhall
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#1 What would you do?

Postby fountainhall » Sun Jun 03, 2018 1:07 pm

Yesterday afternoon I went to a Starbucks quite close to my apartment. I am a reasonably regular attender and am always greeted with lots of smiles from the lovely staff, both guys (some are certainly gay) and girls. Over the last six months I have sometimes noticed a strange forty-ish farang character there. He looks a bit like some sort of tramp. He never buys anything, merely reads the newspapers, often adding handwritten slurs above a headline like "What a f--ing disaster!" "Bunch of c--ts!" The staff told me he then started popping and and just stealing newspapers. I always wondered why the staff put up with him. But then of course they are Thai and confronting any customer let alone a farang would be very difficult for them.

Yesterday, he had taken two newspapers from Starbucks and was sitting outside in the lobby of the shopping centre sipping from a water bottle which he had not bought inside. I wanted to see one paper and was told by the staff that this idiot had stolen them. The supervisor went out to try and get one back, without success. It was then that the supervisor's assistant told me how much trouble they had had with him for so long. Often he would sit inside for hours and as he clearly had not had a shower for days if not weeks, other customers would not sit anywhere close. And seating is quite limited in this Starbucks.

I decided to go out and politely ask this jerk if I might read the newspaper he was not reading. He then started a rant, whereupon the supervisor suggested we both just go inside. For a moment I did, but then I decided to get a photo of him. So I went out and got a shot with my phone. As I did so, he looked up, came over to me and very quickly head-butted me. I did not even have time to get out of the way. Even with blood pouring down my face, I was not going to let him get away scot free. He ran and I followed him, determined to get a back photo as well as the front shot I already had. This low life ran out of the building and off.

After I had washed my face, the building supervisor very kindly got a first aid kit and tended to my wound. In addition to my photos, they now have security camera screen shots and he is now banned from the building. I will suggest to the Starbucks staff later today that they send his photo to the other nearby Starbucks outlets as my guess is he lives close by and will try the same trick at one of those. I also suspect that he could well be here illegally with whatever visa he had having run out. So I told them if he appears, from the back office they should call the police.

An adventure. But I am pleased I was able to come to the assistance of the Starbucks staff who had clearly had so much grief from him for months. Maybe I'll get a free coffee today!!

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Gaybutton
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#2 Re: What would you do?

Postby Gaybutton » Sun Jun 03, 2018 1:37 pm

Unfortunately there is always some kind of nut running loose (the USA has one in the White House).

Why don't you go to the police yourself? I would. This guy assaulted you and you have photos of him. Even if you don't press charges, the police will check his passport and visa, along with checking to see if he has a history of getting into trouble.

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#3 Re: What would you do?

Postby fountainhall » Sun Jun 03, 2018 2:01 pm

The thought did cross my mind and the Starbucks supervisor did ask me if he should call the police. I suppose I should have let him do so - and I can still take that route as there is plenty of photographic evidence of the culprit, my face and the verbal evidence of several Starbucks staff and the building management. But the guy had run off, in which direction I have no idea. By the time the police arrived he would almost certainly have been half a mile away or further on a Skytrain or subway. The chance of finding him would be all but zero.

Besides, this was an altercation between two farang. Even with the backing of the Starbucks staff, I was not prepared to have a policeman suggesting that perhaps I had provoked him! Even now I cannot believe the police would consider it a priority that this man be caught! On the other hand, if he ever appears at a nearby Starbucks again, there is a far better chance. And then, if required, I am happy to give evidence against him.

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#4 Re: What would you do?

Postby Trongpai » Sun Jun 03, 2018 2:01 pm

I would not march into a police station and expect an investigation. First you have to go to the correct station for that area. Second, find someone in the station that speaks sufficient English. They might take a report and even give you a copy but to expect an investigation is unrealistic. The Thai police just don't get too excited over battery cases-- you have to be dead to get their attention.

I would just let the manager of Starbucks take care of the situation. He can call the police if the man shows up. The manager can show the security footage and you can show him the photo. Are there independent witness? Assuming whatever police officer shows up he can question the man who will likely say that you were the aggressor and he was just defending himself. Security footage can be ambiguous. It could come down to your word against his.

As for his visa status I've found that the local police don't seem to know what end of a passport is up. Would this man even have his passport on him? Now, the police officer has to do more work and have the man retrieve the passport. Then the police will have to consult with the Immigration Police. All this for two farangs getting into a scuffle! Assuming the man does not have a visa the Immigration Police would take him in custody and deport him.

Sorry you got injured. I've had similar confrontations with strange farangs in both Bangkok and Pattaya but without injury. I asked one guy at a coffee shop on Silom if he was finished with a newspaper that he was laying on his table but not reading. He said nothing the just threw the entire paper at me, pages went flying all over and he took that opportunity to make a quick exit. Makes me think twice now about approaching an unknown farang with a common usage newspaper in his possession. It's like trying to take a bone from a dog.

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#5 Re: What would you do?

Postby Undaunted » Sun Jun 03, 2018 2:02 pm

What to do? Try minding your own business!
"In the land of the blind the one eyed man is king"

fountainhall
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#6 Re: What would you do?

Postby fountainhall » Sun Jun 03, 2018 2:37 pm

I find that response flippant and disrespectful. I was trying to help a hard-pressed Starbucks staff who know me well and I know them well. However, I did ask for suggestions and I take yours on board. Thank you for commenting. I assume walking away is certainly one course of action. It wasn't mine and I am happy it wasn't mine.

I believe Trongpai is absolutely right in his reasoning for not involving the police in such an incident.

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#7 Re: What would you do?

Postby Gaybutton » Sun Jun 03, 2018 5:28 pm

fountainhall wrote:I believe Trongpai is absolutely right in his reasoning for not involving the police in such an incident.

While Trongpai is probably correct, if it were me I would still go to the police, even knowing nothing is likely to come of it. That's just me. I would be satisfied with having done what I could rather then simply disregarding an assault.

I think the police might take a more serious interest if it turns out the incident involving you was not the first time this mental case has caused problems. My guess is it's not at all the first time. Maybe at least trying to do something about it might assure it's the last time. A person like that might get violent with someone who ends up severely injured or even dies. I'd feel awfully guilty if I later discovered I might have been able to prevent it, or at least tried to prevent it - but didn't.

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#8 Re: What would you do?

Postby fountainhall » Sun Jun 03, 2018 5:38 pm

I went to the same Starbucks this afternoon, Every single member of staff came up to me to thank me for what I had done. It was a very touching gesture.

I cannot turn the clock back as far as the police are concerned. But this idiot probably lives pretty nearby and clearly likes to read papers. As mentioned above, I told the supervisor to make sure his photo is provided to all the nearby Starbucks and that if he should appear, there should be no fuss made but the police called from the back room. In all the times I have seen him he has never had even a little bag with him. I suspect therefore that at the very least he does not travel with his passport. And given that he has been harassing the Starbucks staff for more than six months, I would put a bet on his not having a valid visa/entry permit. Then the Immigration police can deal with him.

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#9 Re: What would you do?

Postby deanagam » Sun Jun 03, 2018 6:35 pm

Perhaps Starbucks should clamp all newspapers in one corner of the premises so as to prevent customers from taking them outside.
And to mind our own business...

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#10 Re: What would you do?

Postby Geezer » Sun Jun 03, 2018 7:20 pm

deanagam wrote:And to mind our own business...

Isn’t uncivilized behavior in public areas everyone’s business?


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