PHUKET – Police have arrested three pub musicians who killed an American man and severely injured his son after the two men sang with them but then refused to get off the stage at the Long Horn Saloon in Krabi’s Muang district early on Wednesday morning.
Bobby Carter, 51, was stabbed to death in the stomach while his son, Adam Carter, 27, was badly beaten up. The injured son and the father’s body were taken to the Bangkok Hospital Phuket.
Ratikorn Romin, 27, Sathit Somsa, 40, and Nopanan Yoddecha, 26, were arrested at the bar, the Little Longhorn Saloon. Police also seized a homemade rifle from Mr Sathit, according to Pol Col Boonthavee Tohraksa, deputy superintendent of Krabi police station.
The bar advertises “jam with the band” sessions on its website. It says that musicians, including amateurs, professionals, locals and tourists, come to Little Longhorn Saloon to “jam with the band”.
A report in Thai Rath said the band members confessed that Carter and his family came to the pub, and that he and his son had joined them on stage.
The band then had an argument with the Americans, because the pair allegedly refused to stop singing when their time was up, and also knocked the group’s tip box to the floor.
The musicians said they left the stage and went outside the bar. A quarrel then broke out when the American family was leaving the bar.
Mr Ratikorn told police that he was knocked to the ground and could not breathe because one of the Americans was grappling with him. He spotted a metal object nearby and used it as a weapon.
”The man who is accused of using killing Carter is a drummer, ‘T’,” Khun Dew said. ”He denies the killing but says it’s possible that Mr Carter fell on the steel rod as they scuffled.”
The suspects added that they did not start the fight and that they had no intention to kill.
Police took the men into custody at Krabi police station.
The killing is bound to reignite the issue of tourist safety in Thailand. Police are using more security cameras on Phuket and have introduced ”Safety Zones” in key tourist areas, including the nightlife hub of Patong, on the west coast.
Krabi is further off the beaten tourism track and not as much attention has been paid to safety there. The best-known destination in Krabi is the offshore 20-something rites-of-passage island of Phi Phi.
Krabi has been the scene of several violent crimes against tourists in the past 18 months, including the unprovoked knife attack on a British man strolling home with his girlfriend.
A German woman had a thumb cut off in another attack.
The notorious rape of a Dutch tourist in Krabi triggered her father to pen and sing a viral YouTube song about justice and revenge, ‘Evil Man from Krabi.’