Click to view image: 'British kickboxer Lee Aldhouse'BANGKOK — A manhunt was underway on a Thai island for a British kickboxer who allegedly picked a fight with an American tourist who had served in the U.S. Marines at a bar, followed him back to his hotel and stabbed him to death.
The body of Dashawn Longfellow, 23, who was awarded the Purple Heart, was found before dawn Saturday at the Yanui Paradise Resort on the island of Phuket with several stab wounds in his chest, said police Lt. Col. Anukul Nuket.
Longfellow was on vacation, recovering from an injury sustained in Afghanistan, Britain's Guardian newspaper reported.
Witnesses told the Pattaya Daily News that kickboxer and bar regular Lee Aldhouse came to blows with Longfellow at the Freedom Bar, after Aldhouse blocked the entrance to the bathroom. After that incident, the report continued, bar staff broke up the fight, and Longfellow left with his Thai girlfriend, identified only by her first name of Ooy.
The Briton is believed to have followed the couple back to their hotel, where Longfellow dropped off his girlfriend and went out to a convenience store, Anukul said.
When Longfellow returned, the Briton was allegedly waiting for him outside his room where a fight ensued and Longfellow was stabbed, according to Anukul.
'Getting drunk and picking fights'
Police have issued an arrest warrant for Aldhouse, who is originally from Solihull, England, NBC News reported.
Aldhouse, who trained in Thai kickboxing or Muay Thai, was known for "getting drunk and picking fights and bragging that he's invincible," Anukul told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.
Authorities believe Aldhouse is still in Phuket, NBC News reported, and they are working with Immigration officials to intercept him if he attempts to leave from Phuket or Bangkok airports. So far, there is no record of him leaving Phuket via the airport.
According to NBC News, police have set up checkpoints in and out of Phuket and local police have been briefed about Aldhouse in case he attempts to escape by land. There is only one bridge leading off the island.
A man who identified himself as a manager at the Yanui Paradise Resort declined to disclose details, saying he was only speaking to the U.S. Embassy. The embassy could not immediately be reached for comment.
Longfellow had served in the Marines and was a machine gunner for the 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, Matt Gronbach, of Fort Dodge, Iowa, who was in the same unit with Longfellow, said.
'Caring and loving'
"Dashawn was a caring and loving person. One of the nicest guys you could ever be around. Great friend, brother and son. He was just a huge teddy bear that everyone loved," Gronbach said in an e-mail to the AP.
Longfellow's passport said he was originally from Littleton, Colorado, police said. Oklahoma City TV station KOCO reported that Longfellow was from Norman, Okla., and that he had received a Purple Heart for his service in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"He accomplished a lot, he said. He mastered every test they gave him. He worked his hardest and he did the best he could," the victim's mother, Tammy Longfellow, told KOCO. "He was very competitive. He always wants to win, and that's what he did."
Longfellow added that her son joined the U.S. Marine Corps after his 2005 graduation from Norman High School, intent on seeing the world, and that he had recently traveled to Thailand to work on his martial arts skills.
Police in Phuket said Longfellow's body was at the Vachira Phuket Hospital, NBC News reported.
Longfellow's mother was working with the U.S. Embassy in Thailand to arrange for her son's remains to be returned to the United States, the KOCO report said.
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