Melbourne man Benjamin Robb has been killed in a bar fight in Pattaya, Thailand, after an altercation over his treatment of a local bartender. Robb was allegedly teasing Ruby Club employee Roong-arun Sangsuwan when American Jose Manuel Polanco Jr intervened and a fight broke out. According to The Bangkok Post, the Australian’s behaviour towards the woman escalated to him squeezing her neck until she turned blue.
Robb was admitted to Pattaya Memorial Hospital with a brain injury after hitting his head on the ground following a punch from Polanco, and later died. The American, who claimed to be acting in self defence, has been charged with manslaughter and will appear in court next week.
Speaking to News Corp, Pattaya police captain Sombat Kaewpoonmuk explained: “[Mr Robb] was teasing one of the servers by squeezing her neck, pulling her up so her feet left the ground.” He added that Polanco told Robb to stop several times before becoming physical.
The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs has confirmed the death, and is providing consular assistance to the family.