Video captured the brutal beating of a British family in Thailand as a gang of young men knocked out an elderly couple and their adult son on a busy street.
The attack took place in the resort town of Hua Hin during the celebration of the Buddhist new year. There were hundreds of people on the street, celebrating and drinking in local bars, including British couple Rosemary and Lewis Owen and their adult son, also named Lewis.
Closed-circuit television cameras showed the older couple getting into an argument with some drunken local men, who witnesses say had been harassing Westerners all night and were looking for a fight, the Telegraph reported.
The Thai men then attacked the couple, knocking out both 68-year-old Lewis Owen and 65-year-old Rosemary Owen, as well as 43-year-old Lewis. One of the men even kicked Rosemary in the face as she tried to sit up, sending her head crashing to the pavement.
The Thai attackers even turned on a local woman who tried to help break up the fight and protect the British couple, throwing her to the pavement as well.
Video of the British family being attacked and beaten in Thailand can be seen below, but be warned that it contains some graphic and disturbing images.
Rosemary Owen suffered the most serious injuries in the attack, with a build-up of fluid in her brain that had to be removed by doctors. Her husband received stitches for a head wound, and the family remained in Thailand for treatment.
“The hospital is still holding her for observation for serious head and eye injuries,” said Police Col. Chaiyakorn Sriladecho, chief of Hua Hin police.
Police arrested three Thai men two days after the attack on the British family, then a few days later detained a fourth man. The Thai-based website KhaosodEnglish identified the attackers as Yingyai Kwangkum-in, 32; Supatra Baithong, 32; Siva Yoksri, 20; and Chaiya Jaiboon, 20.
The group will be making a court appearance soon, and police said the men are sorry for the incident, saying it would not have happened if they were not drunk.
The attackers said the fight happened after the elderly couple’s son accidentally bumped into one of the attackers in the street. An argument ensued, and Rosemary Owen can be seen on the video slapping one of the men. This sent the attackers into a rage, they allegedly told police, leading to the brutal beating.
Though the attack took place on April 13, the video of the British family being beaten in Thailand just hit the internet this week, leading to outrage across the globe.
Another Westerner said that the drunken Thai men were looking to attack Westerners. The man, whose Thai girlfriend overheard some local residents talking about attacking tourists, said he tried to help the British family but was beaten himself.
“By the end of the night (around 2am) as the bar’s customers were leaving, gangs of Thai youths were priming themselves to start punching Westerners!” he wrote.
The man wrote on the Hua Hin Forum internet site that other groups of drunken Thai residents were roving around, looking for Westerners to attack.
As the Telegraph noted, the video of the British family being beaten in Thailand is the latest mark against the nation’s tourism, one of its most valuable industries.
“But there have been an increasing number of unprovoked street attacks on foreign tourists by locals in bar areas in resorts across the country.
“There have also been a series of high profile murders and mystery deaths of Britons and other Western tourists in the country in recent years, raising concerns about Thailand’s safety as a tourist destination.
“Lawyers for two young Burmese men convicted of murdering backpackers Hannah Witheridge and David Miller on Koh Tao in 2014 are expected to launch an appeal next month, citing alleged flaws in the prosecution DNA evidence.”
The British family attacked and beaten in Thailand said they never intend to go back to the country once they are released from the hospital. Local police said the criminal charges against the alleged attackers will continue regardless.
[Image via YouTube]