Police on Wednesday said an Irish teacher has admitted to making up a story about being assaulted and robbed by a Pattaya van driver, saying he couldn’t find his money and blamed the driver.
Ciaran Duffy, an English teacher at a Bangkok school, admitted to falsely telling police the driver had demanded 2,000 baht for a fare from Pattaya to Bangkok and attacked him when he refused. The Irishman said today that he was drunk at the time, according to a police investigator.
“He was drunk and senseless,” said 1st Lt. Panisa Kuncharin of the Chonburi City Police Station.
The driver, Buddee Srimontri, turned himself in after news spread of the incident to deny the allegations. Buddee told police that Duffy was drunk and being a nuisance to other passengers in the Bangkok-bound van by shouting and putting his feet up on the seat in front of him.
Buddee said he stopped the van and shoved Duffy onto the sidewalk before driving away.
Buddee also denied robbing Duffy of 2,500 baht as alleged, Panisa said. Today the Irishman told police he had no recollection of the driver taking his money.
“He noticed that his money was gone after he was left behind by the van, so he thought the driver must have taken it, but he actually didn’t see that happen,” Panisa said.
For pushing Duffy, whose fall caused minor injuries, Buddee was charged with assault and subsequently fined 500 baht. The Department of Land Transport said it would not take action against him for leaving Duffy behind because Buddee had reasonable cause to do so.
She added that Buddee agreed not to press any charges against Duffy because the Irishman had apologized to him in person.