Three Bolt riders were injured, one with a severe stab wound to his abdomen, after they brawled with a group of orange vest motorbike taxi riders, known as Win riders, in Pattaya over so-called territory.
The incident was reported to the Pattaya Police Station at 4 PM on Tuesday, July 4th. Police and Sawang Boriboon rescuers rushed to the incident scene at the front of an unnamed condominium in the Naklua sub-district of Banglamung district, Chonburi province, to assist the injured.
At the site, three men were discovered with injuries, including 24-year-old Mr. Burapchat Suksawat, who had been stabbed in the abdomen, 29-year-old Mr. Sakda Baiyai, who had sustained injuries to his right foot, and 30-year-old Mr. Oran Tangchai, who had been hit on the left arm with a blunt object and sustained injuries.
The injured were all transferred to Banglamung Hospital, with Mr. Burapchat being in critical condition. The trio were reported to be working for a mobile ride-hailing application called Bolt.
According to 50-year-old motorbike taxi rider and eyewitness Mr. Phong Champathong, one of the injured arrived at the condominium to pick up a passenger. Seeing so he told him to have some “manners” and go pick up a customer somewhere else as Phong claimed the condo was the territory of a regular motorbike taxi stand. This Bolt rider then later came back with a group of his friends and started throwing punches at the Win riders. One anonymous Win then pulled out a knife and stabbed the Bolt rider in self-defense, Mr. Phong alleged.
Meanwhile, as per the account of 33-year-old Bolt rider Mr. Naruethep Bodinsri, he said the Win riders rudely shouted at him and unlawfully forbade him from parking and accepting passengers. This led to a minor argument before Mr. Naruethep left the area to drop off a passenger and then returned with a group of his friends to discuss the problem further. Naruethep argued that there was no legal “territory” and Bolt drivers had the right to pick up or drop off customers anywhere in Pattaya.
A heated confrontation then ensued, leading to physical altercations. However, Mr. Naruethep’s group was unarmed, whereas the Win riders resorted to using a knife, injuring his younger brother in the process.
The Win riders did not flee after the incident and argued that the Bolt riders were the aggressors and that they acted in self defense. The police are reviewing CCTV footage and recordings of the bystanders to identify the stabber.
This incident again sheds light on the increasing tensions and conflicts between the Bolt riders and Win riders in Pattaya.
At the beginning of June, Bolt riders allegedly attacked a group of Win riders over customer and territorial disputes. This resulted in two people being injured.
Pattaya authorities have received numerous complaints about these worsening issues and are working on finding a solution.