American arrested for fatally beating tourist in Thai bar fight

American arrested for fatally beating tourist in Thai bar fight

By Tamar Lapin

February 13, 2018 | 3:40pm

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American arrested for fatally beating tourist in Thai bar fight
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A New York native was detained in a fatal red-light district bar fight in Thailand, according to reports.

Jose Manuel Polanco Jr., 43, who now lives in Miami, intervened when he saw an Australian tourist choke a waitress at a Pattaya club until her face turned blue Friday night, the Bangkok Post reported.

Polanco beat Benjamin Robb, 42, into submission, local cops said. Robb was hospitalized and died early Saturday from internal bleeding and a brain injury, cops said.

Polanco turned himself in to authorities and claimed he’d acted in self-defense.

Eyewitnesses said both men had been drinking heavily starting in the afternoon and appeared wasted when the fight broke out, the Australian Broadcasting Company reported.

Other reports said the fight had involved at least four of Polanco’s pals, who kicked Robb several times in the head and snapped photos of him as he lay bleeding on the ground, News.Au reported.

The Ruby Club, which promotes itself as a place that “knows how to heat things up and bring a flirty mood to your night out,” released a statement saying the brawl lasted less than a minute.

Polanco was charged with manslaughter and will remain in jail until his first court appearance next week, 9 News Melbourne reported.

When Polanco was an 18-year-old high school student in Miami, he was charged with second-degree murder for shooting a man who’d paid him $20 to help fix his car, court documents show.

Polanco served two years of a 12-year sentence when his charge was downgraded to manslaughter with a firearm, according to News.Au.

The U.S. State Department said it was aware of Polanco’s recent arrest and was working with Thai officials.

He faces between 3 and 15 years in a Thai prison.

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