Student arrested over ‘trying to strangle’ taxi driver with shoelaces after he could not pay fare

A 20-year-old passenger was arrested after he allegedly attempted to strangle a Bangkok taxi driver with his shoelaces because he could not afford the fare.

According to police, university student Suriya Chaiyamart hopped in the taxi driven by Natthawut Chuwatthana in front of Bua Kaew Kasorn Temple in Pathum Thani and asked the driver to take him to his girlfriend’s apartment in Lat Phrao soi 83 on Wednesday night.

But when they arrived at his destination, Suriya said he didn’t have the fare, so he borrowed Natthawut’s cell phone to call his girlfriend. She would not come out because they were having a fight.

Suriya then told the taxi driver to drive him back to Pathum Thani, promising he’d borrow some money for the cab fare from another friend.

But when they arrived at the temple, which was in a deserted alley, Suriya strangled Natthawut with his shoelaces, police said. To save himself, the taxi driver crashed the car into an electric pole and broke free from the shoelaces, and Suriya escaped.

Police were able to track down Suriya within hours and arrested him for attempted robbery.

Suriya said his action was spontaneous because he could not afford the cab fare and he had just fought with his girlfriend.

Suriya’s mother is requesting bail, Daily News reported.

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