Police charge American tourist over murder of Australian man in Pattaya

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Police charge American tourist over murder of Australian man in Pattaya

Police have charged an American who allegedly punched an Australian who died later in the resort town on Friday evening, for murder.

While Jose Polanco Jr, 44, an American national, was at Ruby club on Pattaya 6 Road in Bang Lamung district, he saw Benjamin Robb, 43, an Australian national, argue with Roong-arun Sangsuwan, a Thai woman. Mr Robb then squeezed her neck and lifted her off the ground until her face turned blue, police said.

Several other reports and comments from girls working in several other bars in the area have since surfaced claiming that this kind of behavior was normal for the the victim. Some girls even went as far as saying “he deserved it”.

At this point, Mr Polanco intervened and a dispute followed. Mr Polanco punched Mr Robb’s face and he fell to the ground. Mr Robb was later sent to Pattaya Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead later of brain injury.

Mr Polanco did not flee and report to police on the same day. He was initially charged with injuring others causing death, punishable by 3-15 years under the Criminal Code.

Mr Polanco denied the charge, saying he only defended himself. He did not apply for bail.

Police said they had sent reports to the embassies of the two countries and the case would go to court.

Source: Bangkok Post