January 06, 2012 00:00
By The Nation, Phuket Gazette
Hollywood actor Renner caught in brawl
Six staff members of the Carnala-Rachada Pub in Phuket Town have been arrested for allegedly stabbing and assaulting Sri Panwa Resort General Manager Vorasit Issara early yesterday morning and charged with attempted murder.
At a police conference, the six men are identified as Jarungsak Sawangkij, 29, from Krabi, Suriya Kraipian, 33, from Bangkok, Nareubate Tednok, 18, from Trang, Natthawut Kongplub, 19, from Surat Thani, and Suchart Palae, 26, and Wasan Poethong, 20, from Nakhon Sri Thammarat.
Phuket police said to the Gazette later that Hollywood actor Jeremy Renner, along with Vorasit’s driver, Noppadon Preechawai, also suffered minor injuries in the melee. Yutthiphong Simngarm, a friend of Vorasit, has sustained cut wounds for covering Vorasit’s body with his.
Provincial police chief Pol Maj General Chonasit Wattanavrangku said he would propose closing CarnalaRachada Pub, which has permit, for 60 days for operating beyond legal hours on Wednesday, when the brawl occurred.
The closure, when imposed, could be extended further if police found later that there were several brawls taking place previously. The incident has prompted police to be stricter with operating hours at all night entertainment venues throughout Phuket.
Provincial governor Tree Akkharadecha said there were around 200 venues operating without permits in addition to those 500 with permits. He did not say how come provincial authorities were aware of the number of those illegally at service but had not take action against them before the incident.
Also presented as evidence at the press conference were clothes worn by the suspects and the weapons they used, which included a variety of clubs and cutting instruments, including a homemade axe fashioned from a motorcycle brake rotor.
Chonasit said the fight started after 31yearold Mr Vorasit dropped a glass on the floor, but no further details were provided. Vorasit’s main injuries were caused by Suchart, who stabbed him in the stomach, and Nareubate, who chopped at his neck with the rotor axe, the officer said.
He said that quick police action and arrests of the suspects had nothing to do with wealth and public image of Vorasit.
Vorasit remains in hospital with serious wounds to the stomach and partially severed neck tendons. He also suffered bruises to his entire body.
Renner stars in the current hit movie Mission Impossible 4 and was nominated for the Academy Award of Best Actor for his role in the critically acclaimed Iraq war movie The Hurt Locker.
A reliable source told the Gazette that Vorasit’s party comprised his driver and four foreign friends, two women and two men.
The group went to the KorTorMor Pub near Nimit Circle, then another club near Royal Phuket City Hotel before they arrived at the Rachada Pub. Vorasit, who had been drinking, became embroiled in an argument with the bar staff before he was attacked, the source said.
The incident happened at around 4:30am, several hours past the mandatory closing time for bars.