IT'S GOT IT ALL - KOH SAMUI'S INFAMOUS SOI GREEN MANGO
It's got it all apparently. Youngsters on their holidays have been known to spend almost every night in Soi Green Mango in perfect safety. It has the last closing dance spot, partially owned by police, lots of bars and even the island's 'Dream Girls' a go-go.
But actually this small U bend of a Soi has a more notorious reputation. Here foreigners get involved in drunken brawls with each other. Thais attack foreigners in packs - and sometimes there is little sign of much 'entente cordiale' between the host country and its visitors.
This may sound normal for a very busy nightlife area but a quick Google search will instantly display a series of murders in this narrow lane. Most nights appear to pass by peacefully, but then little of the many other incidents which happen here seems to be reported.
If some reports are true there are indications when foreigners are in fights they are left to themselves due to a non-interference policy.
But that seems to happen too even if they are seriously injured. Stragglers and drunks appear to be picked off by locals.
At this site we have seen a vicious 'pack attack' in Soi Green Mango but were unable to determine the cause. Nor are we experts on Soi Green Mango
Following the publicised incident involving two students of the Shanghai American School on Samui and a former student of NIST (New International School of Thailand) Jack Hansen-Bartel the following letter has been received from a group of friends who tried to get Jack medical care.
“Although this has made media headlines in Thailand and Australia, there is an entirely different aspect to this story that is still to be told. The reality is that the attack was only the beginning of the ordeal that night for Jack.
“Although this has nothing to do with the criminal case against the two attackers, and witnesses were advised by the police that it was completely unnecessary to mention what happened next in any statements, we feel that it is important to get the entire story out in order to illustrate what Jack actually had to contend with that night and the obstacles of presumptions and racial profiling that ensured he did not receive medical help.
“After the attack on the stage dance floor area of Green Mango, friends and bystanders attempted to obtain assistance from security staff situated at the front of the Green Mango foyer area. There is a security check point operating where one enters the club only.
“Official Green Mango policy (we were later advised in a meeting with the Head of Security) is that security is only to be located at the front entrance and that they are forbidden to go into the dance area, where all the revelers are located as, he advised, foreigners like to take the opportunity to visit the Green Mango' to fight'.
“Initially Jack was not moved from the spot where he had fallen as it was feared that he may have had serious spinal injuries. Jack;s brother (who is currently studying bio-medicine at Monash University in order to one day be a surgeon) checked on Jack and proceeded to find out from the people in the immediate vicinity who had seen the incident and what had happened.
Simultaneously people had moved to the front of house to ask for assistance that someone on stage had been seriously hurt. There was no communication difficulty as the people in this role all spoke fluent Thai.
'Staff ignored pleas for help'
“Not only did all staff refuse to help or to check on the area, the staff simply ignored pleas for help.
“It was then that the decision was made that Jack had to be moved, regardless of a spinal injury, as he was still unconscious and hemorrhaging badly. This movement of Jack brought with it some degree of consciousness for him. He was now hyperventilating and panicked.
“What everyone was unaware of at this time was that not only were his teeth missing but, as he was lying down and the people attending to him were holding him down at times to keep him calm, this act was in reality was suffocating him.
“He was swallowing a lot of blood, we believe he swallowed some of his own gum tissue and bone from his jaw but the gum flap that had been jaggedly torn from his gum, had by now slid away from the shattered bone and was flapping down into his airway, occluding his breathing. One punch was to the eye and this blood of course was going directly into his eyes occluding his field of vision.
After zero help and even less concern from security staff to assist, it was decided by the people assisting him that Jack needed to be walked out from the stage area and down the soi in order to get him closer to some actual medical help.
“As Jack was making his way out of the Green Mango he was barely able to walk; his legs were giving way; he was ataxic and covered in blood. Coming up to the security guards and feeling that finally help was at hand, the attending group was told by security to "keep it moving" and to "leave the club" that Jack was "creating a scene" and was a "public nuisance".
“One of Jack’s attendees who was begging for help, implored the Head Security Guard on that night to assist. He was literally begging for help, but security simply responded by saying that he didn't like the young man’s tone that he was taking with him and began in turn to threaten the young man pleading for help on Jacks behalf. Security told the group that they "had better leave ".
“Now frantic and crying, the group managed to keep Jack walking and on his feet, talking to him constantly whilst all the while still sobbing. They moved Jack out of Green Mango and further down the Soi in order to avoid further abuse from the security. After managing to leave the brutality and coldness of the Green Mango Jacks ordeal was still not over by any means.
“Jack was now frantic. He was stumbling and started to push all his helpers off him trying to tell them to get away from him as he couldn't breathe and the tight feeling of claustrophobia was also setting in. He later described a feeling that the world was closing in on him and that he was unable to get any oxygen and thought he was dying.
“He happened to see whom he recognised as one of his attackers on the way out of G.M and literally with his last ounce of strength tried to lunge at the man and to speak - both these attempts were unsuccessful as with no strength and no ability to stand straight or keep his balance, he merely stumbled again and regained a relatively upright stance for a moment with help from a bystander.
“Soi Green Mango is actually not a terribly long Soi by any means.
“It is a walking soi and looks fairly innocuous. But that night to Jack it was one obstacle path after another, a series of gauntlets to be overcome in a desperate bid to get medical attention.
'We're sick of badly behaved foreigners'
“In the Soi , a gentleman who identified himself as the "owner of the street", approached the group who were all still sobbing and trying to manage Jacks constant maneuvering between walking and collapsing, directing him to the end of the Soi and the main road.
“This self-proclaimed ‘owner of the Soi’ rushed at the group , verbally threatened the group, all whilst brandishing a Taser in an extremely menacing way. Jack was unaware of this confrontation taking place as they tried to walk him to safety. The group he was with was literally trying to assist Jack whilst now also acting as protectors and keeping him out of harm’s way of this outraged man.
“The group tried to move Jack out of the man’s menacing range of reach as it was evident that he clearly had his sights set on that Tazer hitting Jack. The ‘owner of the Soi’ kept moving in closer, constantly yelling that the group was a public nuisance. He was sick of foreigners in this Soi acting this way.
“One of the group said to this gentleman - you are not helping us, we need help. Please help us. This seemed to make the 'owner of the street' even angrier to the point where he was attempting to reach over people now to target his Tazer at Jack. By this time, Jack was now exhibiting signs of shock and transcended into a seizure-like state.
Friend took the brunt of a Tazer attack on injured Aussie
“After one last reach that looked as though it would connect with Jack, a friend of Jacks jumped in the way to protect Jack from the inevitable Tazer hit. His friend took the electric current of the taser hit himself, rather than have this hit Jack. An electrical charge may have actually caused Jack at this point to have a cardiac arrest. We will forever be in debt to this person for taking this tazer charge for Jack in this split second decision he had to make.
“Jack was moved to the front gutter of an establishment called Dream Girls.
He ended here as it was at this point that his legs simply were so unsteady that he could no longer walk at all.
“Rather aptly named really for Jack, as Dream Girls was the point where Jack lost all touch with reality and interchanged between moments of consciousness with unconsciousness.
“Again his helpers lay Jack down on his back. Again the blood was blocking his breathing and the flap of gum was occluding his airway. When Jack was conscious at this point he believed he was actually being attacked by the good Samaritans that were trying to hold him down, so he would attempt to fend them off whilst trying to scream and to breathe.
“He would then travel again into unconsciousness and so it went. At this point in time it is advised (an ambulance was called approx. 40 minutes prior to arriving into the gutter outside of Dream Girls) the first responders arrived.
"Reaching here and with Jack unable to take another step, Jack felt he was going to die and the group felt that as the first responders were there, they were home free , that the ambulance would have a clear view of the group and be immediately at their side ready to take over. Jack was covered in blood and it was a very visible part of the soi to the main road, easy for any ambulance to spot as they would drive in search of the victim.
“Bystanders, passersby and random people who thought they were being helpful were walking past pouring water on Jack, trying to wake him up, perhaps thinking if he were awake then he was clearly fine. This was a shock to Jacks system each time and the feeling to him was a jolting and again he would try and resist his friends who were holding him down.
“A barmaid from the Henry Africa Bar who had actually been our waitress whilst there earlier in the night, remembered the group from a few hours earlier. She came out from Henry Africa Bar (directly across the road from Dream Girls gutter), and kindly brought out toilet paper in an attempt to help Jack and stem the bleeding. She was extremely kind and asked the group what had happened and that she remembered Jack as being such a lovely young man to her.
“Jack was still bleeding profusely and was now lying in a large puddle of his congealing blood. The entire group with Jack was very emotional still and in fact with this kind assistance and the ear of someone who would actually listen to them were now more emotional than before. One of the group started to hit at the adjacent metal sliding door of Dream Girls as he was screaming and crying.
Balding Englishman branding a bottle 'I'm sick of people like you'
“It was at this point that the next obstacle showed itself in the form of a balding Englishman who also had come out from the Henry Africa bar, only, unlike with the barmaid, this person they had never actually seen before. Instead of tissues and kindness coming out of the Henry Africa Bar, this time they were now faced with a threat from a man brandishing a bottle saying that he was going to 'sort them out'. That he was 'sick of people like you' in 'his' soi.
“The barmaid who was still attending to Jack jumped to her feet and intervened before he could bottle anyone. She implored him to listen, and told him what had happened to Jack before he was able to bottle anyone. He seemed to retreat.
“Not to be beaten, the self-proclaimed ‘owner of the soi’ who had earlier attempted to Taser Jack popped back up again!
“The metal door that was facing the gutter area from Dream Girls was indented, he now pointed out. He was oblivious to Jack and his injuries yet managed at night to point out this small indent and demanded money.
“Thankfully and to everyone’s relief, by this time the police had arrived and the group felt the night was finally coming to its rightful conclusion where help was at hand and Jack would receive urgent medical treatment. However, the police also showed no concern for Jack at all.
“Ignoring the group’s plea for medical assistance telling him in Thai Jack had been attacked, the police officer would only converse with the 'owner of the soi' and the officer then told the group to pay for the small indentation that was made in the metal door. They paid immediately. The police then left Jack in the gutter with a group still trying to give medical attention that they were in no way equipped to give.
“It was approximately another 30 minutes until an ambulance arrived. They arrived, heard the Thais say Jack was a 'public nuisance' and they were' sick of foreigners like this' in the soi.
Ambulance refused to take injured
“ Jack was again going through an episode of consciousness/unconsciousness, struggling to breathe and whilst conscious thinking that his friends in all this who were holding him down, were strangers attacking him. The medical staff stayed a short time to observe. And decided that they would not take Jack for essential medical care.
“One of the group had run down the main road off Soi Green Mango where his van was parked. The group all carefully placed Jack in the back of the 8 seater, at which time the van proceeded to follow the ambulance. It appeared to the driver of the van that the ambulance was attempting to lose them. The ambulance was clearly going around in circles. Eventually the group found a local Thai hospital."