Burnaby man identified as victim of machete attack in Thailand

Philip Sullivan, 68, is reported to be in stable condition after fending off would-be-thieves in the southern city of Chumphon last week.

Jennifer Sullivan, sister of victim, has been told that he is okay

Philip Sullivan is spotted on surveillance footage camera with King Kulkaew of Bangkok. The two had reportedly left a restaurant on foot last Wednesday in the southern city of Chumphon when they were followed by a pickup truck. (News Thai Ch8)

Jennifer Sullivan is relieved to learn that her brother is OK after he was attacked by a man wielding a machete in Thailand. 

"I'm reassured that he is in fine shape," she said. 

Philip Sullivan, 68, a civil engineer from Burnaby, B.C., is reported to be in stable condition after fending off would-be-thieves in Thailand last week.

The Bangkok Post reported in its online edition that Sullivan was with King Kulkaew of Bangkok at the time of the attack. The news outlet says the two had left a restaurant on foot last Wednesday in the southern city of Chumphon when they were followed by a pickup truck.

Then, at a quiet spot near the restaurant, police say one suspect allegedly left the vehicle and tried to snatch King's gold necklace.

Security camera footage shows the interaction between the two suspects and Sullivan. The suspects were later arrested. (News Thai Ch8)

Police say Sullivan intervened and was hacked on the right arm and neck, his companion suffered bruising.

His sister said it's very much in line with his character to have intervened.

"Doesn't surprise me at all. He is a very protective person," she said. 

The two suspects fled without the necklace and were later identified through security camera footage and arrested.

The news made for an uneasy few hours for Jennifer Sullivan, who first learned of the attack Wednesday morning, when she stumbled upon the news online.

She says she didn't even know her brother was in Thailand.

Sullivan says she spent the next few hours frantically calling various government offices to get answers and finally was reassured that he was OK. 

Sullivan was told that she wasn't contacted immediately following the attack because she isn't listed as his emergency contact in his passport.

She said this story should serve as a cautionary tale to other travellers to ensure they've filled out the emergency contact section, so their next of kin is alerted immediately following an incident.

About the Author

Tina Lovgreen

Video Journalist

Tina is a Video Journalist with CBC Vancouver. Send her an email at tina.lovgreen@cbc.ca