A 51-year-old American man was hacked to death with a machete on Saturday night after he refused to pay a $1.60 fare to his Bangkok cab driver.
Police Lt. Col. Teerayut Maiplaeng said that Troy Lee Pilkington was an American citizen who worked for the machinery company Caterpillar Inc. He had been living in Thailand for the past three years.
The 32-year-old cabbie Chidchai Utmacha was driving the country’s busy Sukhumvit Road when Pilkington accused him of rigging the meter while they sat in traffic. When Utmacha asked for the fare, Pilkington refused and threw his cup of coffee at the driver.
According to authorities, Utmacha told police he was infuriated by Pilkington’s provocation. The two argued about the fare, and Pilkington finally decided to run from the taxi.
Utmacha immediately withdrew a 12-inch machete from the cab trunk, chased Pilkington down and attacked him.
Afterward, Utmacha peeled off his blood-stained shirt and threw it into a canal with his machete. He later explained that he did not believe that Pilkington would die.
"When we traced the man to a house in Bangkok, we still saw bloodstains on his shoes," Col. Thawatkiet Jindakuansanon said.
Utmacha was charged with murder and carrying a weapon in public without reasonable cause.
Nearby surveillance footage caught Utmacha swinging the machete at Pilkington, though most of the act occurs off-screen, and the video has since gone viral.