In a follow-up to last week’s news that he managed to become the target of the Thai police and mafia following a bar and hospital brawl, Browning has sent The Phuckett Gazette a detailed account of his story along with an update on his whereabouts.
The story is far too long to re-post here, but the gist is Browning claims he was jumped by the bar owner and several other attackers for unknown reasons which resulted in Junie taking a vicious beating and getting a thick glass beer mug broken over his head (Junie included the above pic for proof). Another altercation erupted at the hospital when the bar owner and the man that struck him with the mug were placed in hospital beds next to him (it’s unclear why they were in the hospital though since Junie claims earlier in his story that all his attackers remained unharmed at the bar). Things settled down after the fight was broken up and the men were separated, but then Junie says he received several calls from “reliable sources” claiming that the Thai mafia “put a price on his head” and were on there way to the hospital. Browning took the threat seriously and decided to run which leads us to this next part that sounds like it was taken out of a movie:
Our first thought was to get a hold of the police for protection, but were told that it was corrupt and that they would be of no assistance. My girlfriend pulled out my IV and jumped a fence to find a taxi to come pick me up.
Being US citizens in a foreign country we were terrified and had to act quickly. With these threats in mind we made a plan. I went to hide while my girlfriend stayed behind to pack and arrange travel out of the city. Keep in mind, we left behind a house we have rented through May, a dog we left in a friend’s care, and numerous personal belongings. Approximately one hour later I was picked up by taxi and we headed out of Phuket. Four hours later we arrived in Krabi to stay the night in a hotel and figure out what to do.
The next day I received two separate phone calls from MJ Castro (which I was informed is not her real name) and Simon Menzies saying that we needed to pay several hundred thousand baht or they would continue to hunt us. In addition, Facebook messages and phone calls flooded in from friends and acquaintances telling us we were in big trouble and needed to get back to the US quickly and, again, to speak to no one.
They instructed us to attempt to cross the Malaysian border and get on the first flight home. At this point we packed again and boarded a mini van to Hatyai. We booked a hotel and paid for two tickets on the 9am bus to Kuala Lumpur, still unsure of what we should do. While in Hatyai, we contacted the US Embassy, still afraid to tell anyone of our location. We did not want to flee the situation, but needed to confide in people we could trust. We were told not to use our phones or internet to avoid any chance of the wrong people discovering our location. I was contacted by a friend from the United States who had previously lived in Bangkok and was able to arrange transport from friends of his with protection to the US Embassy.
To this point I have been unable to seek the medical attention that I desperately need. My vision in my right eye is impaired, I am in severe pain, I am going through fainting and dizzy spells, and have severe head trauma. We had to use the internet to try to figure out how to deal with it on our own. My girlfriend has been dressing my wounds and at night sets an alarm every two hours to wake me up. She asks me simple questions and checks my eyes to make sure I am coherent and stable.
All we are asking for is help from people we can trust which brings us here now. We are victims of a viscous assault and attempt on our lives. We are seeking the assistance of the US Embassy and I want to clear my name of the wrong-doing I was accused of.
I don’t really have anything to add here other than this story is just absolutely nuts and I’m sure this isn’t the end of it.
Image via The Phuckett Gazette