Stabbed Phuket Tourist Speaks Out to Save Others
By Alan Morison
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
PHUKET: An Italian tourist has been stabbed in the back within hours of arriving for his holiday on Phuket, the victim of a motorcycle gang.
The tourist ran bleeding towards a resort at Nai Harn, in southern Phuket, where a couple of English tourists cared for him. Local Phuket police appeared disinterested once they were told the perpetrators were locals.
Phuketwan met the stabbed tourist at Bangkok Hospital Phuket tonight after his cousin "Donna," who lives and works on Phuket, grew concerned that other tourists might also be attacked, and called us.
The family is troubled about possible repercussions and did not want their names used, however, they were keen to talk about the attack.
"Giovanni" and another cousin arrived at Phuket International Airport about 6pm on Monday.
"Most of my family have been out to visit over New Year," Donna said. "Because my brother and I had to work Tuesday, my brother took Giovanni out on the back of his motorbike last night to have a look around."
Giovanni, 33, from Modena, took up the account: "It was about 9.30pm or perhaps 10 and we headed down to Nai Harn. Everybody had said how nice it was. Donna's brother wanted to show me a good restaurant they all like.
"Everything was closed, though, along the beachfront, in the park. We stopped to take a look and then suddenly, we were surrounded by motorcycles. I spotted three and there may have been a fourth one.
"The guys on the motorcycles talked to us but we didn't understand a word they were saying. I noticed one of them, who was riding pillion, had his hands behind his back the whole time.
"I got off the motorcycle and as I did, I felt an electric shock. I was hit in the back. I started to run. Donna's brother took off on the motorcycle, too.
"As I was running for my life, he pulled up alongside me and I climbed back on. We saw lights in the distance and headed in that direction."
The lights were at the All Seasons Resort, close to the Nai Harn beachfront in southern Phuket, where staff and guests looked on in astonishment as Giovanni and Donna's brother appeared in the foyer, yelling for help.
"I knew I was bleeding badly," Giovanni said. "The staff didn't seem to know what to do but two English tourists helped me. We realised we didn't have a telephone so the hotel sent a car to let Donna and the others know what had happened.
"By the time they arrived, the ambulance and police were there."
Giovanni spent Monday night in Bangkok Hospital Phuket's intensive care unit as doctors assessed the damage caused by the stab wound to his back.
While it's no longer life-threatening, Giovanni's 10 days in Phuket - to be followed by four days in Bangkok - now depend on when he can leave hospital and when doctors think he will be in a condition to fly.
"My family have all been visiting Phuket," Donna said. "It seems so nice. But after this stabbing we do remember seeing a lot of young teenage boys on motorcycles around the Nai Harn area."
Police turned up at the All Seasons on Monday night but the family has heard nothing from them since.
Donna plans to go to Chalong Police Station on Wednesday to make a formal statement in the hope that action will follow, and that other tourists might be prevented from being stabbed.