Police in Danang have fined a 68-year old American expat VND2.5 million for breaking a local woman’s nose on July 27.
Dennis Marshall Gray made big headlines in late July after a YouTube clip went viral, showing a local man using a bicycle tire to lasso him to the ground.
Gray, 68, was reportedly attacked after he refused to pay his taxi fare and, in the ensuing brawl with his cab driver, threw a punch which accidentally landed on a passing motorist's face.
As he began to walk away, police said Gray was attacked with a bicycle tire by Le Van Phuoc.
Phuoc was fined VND2 million for the same administrative violation as Gray.
Phuoc’s fine was lighter than Gray’s because “he was provoked by the foreigner’s injurious attack on the woman,” a local police officer said.
The unlucky woman, Nguyen Cuu Thuy Trang, suffered a broken septum and had to undergo a corrective surgery.
Gray has agreed to pay Trang US$3,000 as compensation, according to the police.
Since Trang's injury was determined to be relatively minor (nine percent, according to a metric used to calculate punitive damages and criminal liability) the police did not investigate Gray for a criminal offense.
Gray was also asked to pay his taxi driver, Nguyen Quy the VND42,000 fare that caused the fracas.
According to police, Gray admitted to mistakenly believing he'd been cheated by Quy.
He recalled paying VND10,000 ($0.47) less for a ride to a local market on a previous occasion and suspected he was being cheated.
The difference was caused by the fact that Quy’s car was a 7-seater, while the other cab was a 4-seater, the police explained. Quy also had to take another, longer route home, they said.
Gray told Thanh Nien News that he's “always had a temper” and drank four glasses of wine before the incident, which unfolded on the corner of Hung Vuong and Ly Thai To St.
When his argument with Quy grew heated, Gray tore down a taxi insignia glued to the cab's windshield and attempted to walk away.
Gray claimed he was trying to get away from a menacing crowd being riled up by Quy.
Quy told police that Gray was trying to get out of his fare and had punched and kicked him several times. He claims he dodged the punch that smashed Trang's face.
Phuoc told the police he attacked Gray with a bicycle tire after seeing him break Trang's nose.
Gray, a California-born tech entrepreneur, said he spent the last 23 years in Australia and has visited Vietnam as a tourist since 1995.
He moved to Danang in recent years to help a friend set up a business school.