Irish Teacher Involved in Violent Attack at Bangkok BTS Skytrain Station

John Behan kicking at the BTS station chief


The big news in Thailand today is the story of an Irish teacher in Thailand, John Behan, who was involved in an altercation with a Thai BTS skytrain security guard at the Phrom Phong station last week.

According to several stories in the Thai news media, Behan was with his 7-year-old daughter and a farang (western) friend at a Bangkok sky train station and had in his possession several balloons when they attempted to go through the barriers and onto the skytrain platform. He was stopped by a Thai security guard who told him balloons were not allowed on the skytrain. Then here is where the story gets murky.

During discussion with the security guard, Behan said he had been on the train already that day with the balloons and hadn’t been stopped. Some type of altercation ensued and it looks like John Behan was hit on the head by the security guard with either a nightstick or a metal scanner. It gets even more interesting when you see the video on YouTube (see below).

Taken a couple of minutes later, the video shows John Behan completely out of control, kicking the Thai station chief, and aiming punches at him and another man, even when there’s a female security guard in the midst of them.

And all of this done while his 7-year-old daughter is trying to pull him away, a farang friend is trying to do the same thing, and security guards are attempting to take the balloons from him.

Personally, I don’t care what the security guard said to him, when you’re told that balloons aren’t allowed on the train, just like you would be in most other countries in the world, you either deflate the darn things or hand them to the security guard and get on the train without them.

Arguing and then getting into a fight, which involves kicking, punching and using foul language (yes, you can hear the “F-word” coming from Behan a few times) just makes you look bad. So, whether the security guard was initially at fault or John Behan was at fault has been lost by Behan’s subsequent bad behavior.

Of course, Behan has now filed a report against the security guard and the BTS and the BTS, although they apologized to Behan, have also filed a report against him.

If the security guard was the first one to cause problems by physically attacking Behan, what Behan should have done instead of forcing himself through the barriers, getting into a fight, and all around making a fool of himself, was immediately make a complaint at the BTS office and then gone to file a report at the police station.

That he chose to deal with it by becoming completely unglued and losing control — well, it’s not really any wonder he’s hearing so many negative comments from Thais (and some farangs) about his behavior. Not one Thai I’ve spoken to about this believes he was in the right, and only two of the farangs I know think he was.

And yes like several people have said,, if he had behaved like this in the UK, Ireland or America, he would have been hit with a night stick or a taser and then arrested.

Meanwhile, watch the video of Behan coming unglued, followed by the video of him being interviewed on Channel 3 after the incident. Make up your own mind. What do you think?