Bangkok Taxi Driver Murders American Man Over $1.60 Fare

Image via Chantal de Bruijne/Shutterstock

A Thai taxi driver has recently been arrested after murdering a US man over a $1.60 fare, equivalent to roughly 51 Thai baht.

The driver, Chidchai Utmacha, was identified after a portion of the event was captured on security footage. The video shows Utmacha wielding and swinging a 12-inch machete at Troy Lee Pilkington, an American who had lived in Thailand for three years and worked for American machinery company Caterpillar.

The footage shows Pilkington trying to defend himself and hold the man as he violently swings the machete. Pilkington flails his arms to no avail, attempting to flee. The pair disappears out of range of the camera, and Utmacha can be seen fleeing the scene.

Thirty-two year-old Utmacha admitted to investigators that he pulled the machete from his trunk after Pilkington accused him of rigging the meter and exited the taxi during traffic without paying the $1.50 fare.  He also claimed that Pilkington threw a cup of coffee at him.

Utmacha has been charged with murder and carrying a weapon without reasonable cause.