An industrial estate boss who slapped an Ayutthaya hotel employee after being told he could not smoke has apologised to her and paid 40,000 baht in compensation.
The case is now considered closed, but a hotel security video of the incident has attracted more than a million views and led to widespread condemnation of the attacker.
Panita Kochprapa posted a message on her Facebook page on Saturday to thank the Ayutthaya governor, senior police, hotel executives and media members for helping her to obtain justice.
Ms Panita, 25, said she had received an apology from Surasi Haengsuwan, director of the Nava Nakorn Industrial Zone in Nakhon Ratchasima.
Pol Col Anusorn Wayakham, chief of Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya police station, invited Ms Panita and Mr Surasi to the station on Saturday to discuss the case. After negotiating, they reached a compromise, he added.
Police fined Mr Surasi under Section 3921 of the Criminal Code, Pol Col Anusorn said. The offence carries a fine of up to 1,000 baht and/or a jail term of up to one month.
He said the case was settled amicably, with compensation to be discussed later. Local media reports said a payment of 40,000 baht was agreed.
Ms Panita had filed a complaint with police earlier about the incident, which took place on Nov 6 at the Krungsri River Hotel in Ayutthaya. Police issued a summons to Mr Surasi to appear for questioning on Nov 15. He failed to answer the summons and a second one was issued, with police saying he would be arrested if he did not report by this coming Thursday.
Ms Panita said the incident occurred when Mr Surasi and other guests of the hotel went to have dinner in the VIP room. When he asked to smoke, she told him smoking was not allowed in the room as it had no smoke ventilation system. As well, she said, if he lit up the smoke detector would probably go off and the fire alarm would be triggered.
The man appeared upset with her explanation, she said. When she left the room to get some water for the guests, he followed and suddenly slapped her in the face before going to his seat.
On Friday, officials from the Bureau of Tobacco Control went to the hotel to offer their moral support to Ms Panita over the incident.
Seranee Chulasereekul, the bureau’s deputy director, praised Ms Panita and the hotel for doing their duty to protect the health of non-smokers by banning smoking in dining rooms and common areas used by guests.
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