Monday, July 8, 2013

Bangkok Cab Driver Fatally Hacked American With Machete Over $1.60 Taxi Fare

Troy L. Pilkington and Cherdchai Utamacha

50-year-old American refused to pay a $1.60 cab fare and then gets fatally hacked with an 18" machete by 32-year-old Bangkok cab driver.

By H. Nelson Goodson
July 8, 2013

Bang Na, Bangkok, Thailand - On Sunday, Cherdchai Utamacha, 32, a taxi driver from the Roi Et province was arrested and charged with murder and having a weapon in public for last Saturday's homicide of Troy Lee Pilkington, 50, from California, a U.S. citizen living in Thailand, the Bangkok Post reported. Utamacha picked up Pilkington at a Bang Na store and was taking him home.
They came upon a traffic jam and the cab meter was still running. Pilkington got out of the taxi and yelled at Utamacha that he was cheating him because he believed the meter was rigged. When Utamacha got out of the taxi and tried to charge Pilkington the 51 baht that he owed ($1.60 U.S. dollars), Pilkington threw an empty cup of coffee at the driver.
Utamacha went to the back of his taxi and took out an 12" machete and got into a confrontation with Pilkington. Pilkington tried to take the machete from Utamacha, but the taxi driver began to hit Pilkington with the machete. Pilkington died at the scene and part of the incident was caught by a store surveillance camera.
Pilkington's body was found in front of a clothing store.
Police say, Utamacha got rid of the machete and a bloodied shirt at two separate places. The taxi driver confessed to killing Pilkington and police were able to recover the machete and shirt for evidence. 
Utamacha fled the scene and didn't think he killed Pilkington. He told police that he had panic when they struggled and hit Pilkington several times with the machete during the altercation.
Pilkington lived in Thailand for three years and was living with his girlfriend. He spoke fluent Thai and worked for Caterpillar, Inc., according to police.

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