- The Washington Times - Monday, July 8, 2013

A 51-year-old American working at the U.S. Caterpillar plant in Bangkok was hacked to death by a machete-wielding taxi driver in a dispute over a $1.60 fare, police in Thailand said.

Thai law enforcement say Troy Lee Pilkington was fatally cut with a 12-inch machete on Saturday night, NBC reported.

Police Lt. Col. Teerayut Maiplaeng said the taxi driver, Chidchai Utmacha, 32, confessed. The suspect is facing charges of murder and carrying a weapon in public without reasonable cause, The Associated Press reported.

Authorities say Mr. Pilkington — who’s lived in Bangkok for three years — accused the driver of rigging the fair and refused to pay. He then stormed out of the cab, NBC reported. Thai police also say the suspect alleges the victim hurled a cup of coffee at him — and that’s what led him to pull his machete.

Video captured the attack, which showed the driver swinging the machete at the victim, who then falls to the street, NBC reported.

The suspect told police he panicked and subsequently threw the machete and his shirt into a nearby canal, NBC said.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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