Tuesday, February 13, 2018

2/13/2018 02:56:00 PM


Revealed: American tourist, Jose Manuel Polanco Jr, 43, charged over the manslaughter of an Australian man, 42, at the Ruby Lounge at soi 6 in Pattaya's notorious red-light district HAS KILLED BEFORE.

Pictured: Polanco's mugshot from his manslaughter with firearm charge over the 1993 death of Michael Cooper

-American tourist Jose Manuel Polanco Jr has been charged with manslaughter
-He allegedly killed Melbourne man Benjamin Robb at the Ruby's club in Pattaya
-In 1993, Polanco was jailed in the US for manslaughter with a firearm
-He had earlier twice confessed to killing Michael Cooper after looking at his car
-Police claim Mr Robb was choking a Thai woman at a bar in red light district
-Polanco reportedly punched Mr Robb, who died later of brain injuries in hospital
-The New Yorker denied the charge and said he was acting in self defence

The American tourist charged with the manslaughter of 42-year-old Melbourne man Benjamin Robb has killed before, court documents reveal.

Jose Manuel Polanco Jr, a high school student at the time, was charged with the second degree murder of Michael Cooper, who had paid him $20 to look at a car problem in 1993.

Later, a friend of the man told a teacher Polanco was responsible for the murder and police were called, at which point the New Yorker confessed twice, both at the school and at the police station.

Court documents reveal Polanco told police where the weapon used in Mr Cooper's death was located, and where his blood-stained clothes had been hidden.

New Yorker Jose Manuel Polanco Jr, 43, has been charged with manslaughter after the death of Melbourne man Benjamin Robb

'After questioning defendant for an hour and ten minutes, defendant confessed to the murder. At that point he was arrested and given Miranda warnings,' documents read.

'He then gave another statement confessing to the murder. He also told the detectives where he disposed of the murder weapon, which was not recovered, and where he disposed of his own bloody clothing, which was recovered.'

Later, his charges were downgraded to manslaughter with a firearm.

A file of his conviction and mugshot reveal Palanco served less than two years, from 1996, for his crimes.

Polanco got into an altercation with Melbourne man Benjamin Robb in Thailand on Friday night, which resulted in Mr Robb's death hours later. 

Benjamin Robb, 42, was drinking in the red light district of Pattaya, Thailand, when he was allegedly attacked by Polanco in Ruby Club

Police have said Polanco became aggressive after Mr Robb, 42, allegedly picked up a Thai woman in the bar by the throat, and squeezed until she began to turn blue.

He initially fled from Ruby Club in Pattaya after the altercation, but later surrendered to local authorities and was charged with manslaughter.

'Polanco saw the incident and told [him] to stop it. [Mr Robb] didn't stop and started fighting [with Polanco] a number of times,' Pattaya police Captain Sombat Kaewpoonmuk told News Corp.

Following the fight, Mr Robb was taken to hospital, but later died of a brain injury.

Polanco has denied the charge, and said he was acting in self-defence, but did not apply for bail.

Witnesses claimed over social media an American tourist had approached Robb and threw him across the bar before punching him several times in the face.

Others claimed Mr Robb had been in an argument with four or five foreign men, all of whom were intoxicated and aggressive.

The passport of US man Jose Manuel Polanco Jr who handed himself in to police after an Australian man died in a brutal bar bashing in Thailand

An American man then allegedly approached the Australian as he lay on the floor and 'stamped on his head multiple times', according to an eyewitness who recounted the horrific incident in a Facebook group.

Bar staff contacted paramedics, who rushed to the venue just after 7.30pm as a 'patron with medical experience' put Mr Robb in the recovery position and attempted to administer first aid.

Mr Robb (pictured) was taken to hospital after the attack and died soon after of brain injury

'He [the attacker] smashed his foot from above in the guys [victim's] face at least 10-15 times with full force. That whole incident lasted probably 20 seconds', the witness wrote.

These reports have devastated Mr Robb's family, a friend of the Melbourne man has said.

The friend told News Corp Mr Robb was 'coward punched' by a single attacker.

'Ben hit his head on the ground hard after the American guy punched him in the face,' they said.

'It was a coward punch. There is an investigation going on right now.'

The Department of Foreign Affairs has confirmed the man's death to Daily Mail Australia.

A spokeswoman said DFAT is: 'providing consular assistance to the family of an Australian man who died in Thailand'.
Polanco Jr (pictured) was reportedly present at the time of the incident but left the bar following the fight, before turning himself into authorities 

Ruby Lounge has also released a statement regarding the incident, and confirmed that no other customer of staff member was injured during the incident.

'An altercation lasting less than 20 seconds between two customers on Friday night resulted in one person being taken to hospital with serious looking injuries, which sadly resulted in him passing away in the early hours of Saturday morning.

'The other individual involved handed himself in to police and it is understood he is to remain in custody until a court appearance in 10 days or so.

'Whilst our thoughts remain with the victims relatives, we would also like to thank the emergency services for their prompt and professional attention in dealing with the incident.'

Daily Mail Australia has contacted Ruby Club for further comment. 

Polanco and Mr Robb had been drinking in the same bar at soi 6, the Ruby Club in the red light district of Pattaya, Thailand.

Source: DailyMail


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