500 Phuket Locals Rally At Swiss Expat’s Villa to Reclaim Alleged ‘Private Beach’

Thalang, Phuket –

On March 3rd, 2024, around 9:00 AM, over 500 local residents gathered at Ya Mu Beach in Phuket to demonstrate against a Swiss national, Mr. David, who allegedly kicked a female doctor.

The initial assault, which occurred on February 24th, 2024, sparked outrage and criticism from Thai citizens after the doctor reported being kicked by Mr. David near his rented beachfront villa in the Thalang area. The woman, who works at a local private hospital, said she was sitting on the stairway leading to the public beach outside the villa when the assault occurred.

The peaceful demonstration, organized by Phuket residents, began at 9:00 AM. It saw more than 500 people gather near the scene of the alleged assault while police officers were also present to maintain order.

Participants took photographs and held signs written in English and Thai expressing their disapproval of Mr. David’s actions. According to the protestors, they congregated to protest not only against the expat’s behavior but also against reports that the villa is allegedly claiming ownership of part of Ya Mu Beach in front of the property, which is supposed to be public in accordance with Thai laws.

According to Thai laws, all beaches in Thailand are considered public and inalienable. This means they cannot be sold, assigned, or dealt with commercially, as enshrined in the Civil and Commercial Code of Thailand.

One protestor, Mr. Prasit, stated that he felt compelled to attend the demonstration after following the news reports. He expressed support for the victim while urging authorities to take decisive actions to ensure that public spaces like Ya Mu Beach remain accessible and enjoyable for both residents and tourists.

Some of the protesters also claimed that Mr. David had previous issues and problems with neighbours and locals well before this recent incident leading.

The investigation into the alleged assault is ongoing, and Mr. David has apologized for the incident, claiming it was unintentional as he simply ‘slipped.’ while asking the doctor to leave his property.

The viral video behind the incident doesn’t clearly show a kick, as the camera panned away at the last second, but does appear to have a foreign man, believed to be Mr. David, shouting vulgarities at the doctor and her friend to get off the steps instead of a polite request to do so.

The original version of this article appeared on our sister website, The Phuket Express, owned by our parent company TPN media.

Goongnang Suksawat
Goong Nang is a News Translator who has worked professionally for multiple news organizations in Thailand for many years and has worked with The Pattaya News for more than four years. Specializes primarily in local news for Phuket, Pattaya, and also some national news, with emphasis on translation between Thai to English and working as an intermediary between reporters and English-speaking writers. Originally from Nakhon Si Thammarat, but lives in Phuket and Krabi except when commuting between the three.