Political candidate punches TV host

BANGKOK Thu Oct 2, 2008 11:55am EDT

1 of 4. Bangkok governor candidate Chuvit Kamolvisit speaks during a news conference in central Bangkok October 2, 2008. Chuvit, an underdog in Sunday's election for governor of Bangkok, punched and kicked a television journalist on Thursday, saying he was provoked by tough questions during a live interview.

Credit: Reuters/Sukree Sukplang

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BANGKOK (Reuters) - An underdog in Sunday's election for governor of Bangkok punched and kicked a television journalist Thursday, saying he was provoked by tough questions during a live interview.

Chuvit Kamolvisit, dubbed Bangkok's massage parlor king by the Thai press, later apologized for losing his temper and assaulting host Visarn Dilokwanich after the interview.

"I admit I did it. I couldn't stand it when he humiliated me on air," said Chuvit, a stocky former bodybuilder who owned a strip of girly bars before entering politics a few years ago.

"What I did was a petty crime and I am happy to pay the fine for elbowing him and kicking him," Chuvit said at his campaign headquarters next to a park he built and gave to the public.

Visarn filed a complaint with police, saying Chuvit had "behaved like a thug."

"He was very upset when I told him during the show that what he said off-air and on-air was totally different," Visarn said, showing reporters bruises on his neck and head.

(Reporting by Nopporn Wong-Anan; Editing by Alan Raybould)

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