PATTAYA – An American national has surrendered to police after a 43-year-old Australian man died following a bar fight at a seaside resort in southern Thailand.
Benjamin Robb, from Newport in Victoria, became involved in a drunken brawl at the Ruby Club in Pattaya, 150 kilometres southeast of Bangkok, last Friday evening.
Thai media reports said the fight was between Mr Robb and an unnamed American, said to be about 30 years old.
Mr Robb was reported to have been acting aggressively towards the American and other staff at the bar before the altercation occurred.
The Australian sustained major injuries to his head and upper body before being knocked unconscious.
The American initially fled the scene but later turned himself over to Thai police.
Mr Robb was reported to have been thrown across the bar and later sustained repeated kicks to the head and body.
Thai paramedics and police were quickly on the scene and Mr Robb was taken to the nearby Pattaya Memorial Hospital.
Despite treatment he died in the early hours of Saturday from his injuries, including internal bleeding.
Eyewitnesses said both men had been drinking heavily in the afternoon and appeared intoxicated when the fighting broke out.
The Ruby Club said in a statement the altercation had been brief and had left the Australian unconscious.
The American, the statement said, was expected to be held in jail for at least 10 days before an initial court appearance.
Thai police said they would be carrying out a thorough investigation.
Eyewitnesses said some bars in Pattaya were popular among those involved in weightlifting and martial arts sports in Thailand.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade confirmed the death of an Australian man in Thailand.
DFAT said it was providing consular assistance to the man’s family, and that it was unable to provide further details for privacy reasons.