Cops: Tourist Falls 150 Feet Escaping Harasser
NYC's Hannah Gavios says Thai 'guide' assaulted her
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 6, 2016 4:20 PM CDT
An American tourist didn't get a good feeling about her "guide" right from the start.   (Pixabay)

(Newser) – A 23-year-old US tourist lost in Thailand asked for assistance getting back to her resort Thursday night, and a local offered to help. But that local is now in custody and the woman is in the hospital with serious injuries after she says she was forced to flee when he tried to sexually assault her—resulting in her tumbling off a mountainous path, Phuket News reports. NYC's Hannah Gavios—a teacher in Vietnam who a co-worker tells the New York Daily News was enjoying a few days' vacation in Krabi—says she lost her way during a stroll along the beach and sought help back to her hotel at a nearby tourist shop, per the Daily Mail. A man IDed as Apai Raingworn—Thai PBS describes the suspect as being more of a volunteer guide than an actual employee—offered to help her.

He led her on a steep path, where police say he has admitted making aggressive sexual advances toward her. Gavios says she fought him off and tried to run to safety, but she fell 150 feet off a cliff in the dark, landing about 50 feet away from the water. She couldn't move, and she accuses the 28-year-old suspect of coming down after her and molesting her. He eventually left, and police say he reported the incident and led authorities to the area. Rescuers located Gavios, who is said to have fractured her spine, the next morning. "At the moment she can move her hands but not her legs," says a doctor quoted by the Phuket Gazette. "She needs more recovery time and may have to stay in hospital for another week." Raingworn was being held on charges of sexual harassment and assault causing injury.