An Australian man has died in Bali after being struck with a stool during a fight with the owner of the bar where he had been drinking.
Troy Johnston, 39, from Perth, had been at the Uncle Benz Cafe in the southern district of Ungasan in the early hours of Thursday morning (Indonesia time) when he allegedly became involved in a dispute with the proprietor.
He was killed after being hit with a wooden chair, said Bali police, who have charged 38-year-old venue owner Gede Wijaya with murder.
Johnston was discovered unconscious near the small bar at about 4am on Thursday by his wife Ni Nyoman Purniyanti, who, along with her brother, had gone looking for Johnston after waking in the middle of the night to find he had not returned.
“I saw [Johnston] already lying and covered in blood and unconscious,” said Johnston’s brother-in-law Gede Artawan.
“I contacted the ambulance and the police and at approximately 4.30am the ambulance arrived. I was with the ambulance to take [Johnston] to Kuta BIMC [Hospital].”
Johnston was declared dead on arrival at the hospital.
Denpasar police chief Bambang Yugo Pamungkas said at a press conference in Bali on Friday that Johnston and Wijaya had been drinking together and had known each other for two days.
Wijaya told police he had reprimanded the Australian and asked him to leave the bar after Johnston threw bottles, urinated on the road next to his stall, or warung, and allegedly also showed his genitals to other guests.
According to a police statement, the venue owner said he was then physically set upon by Johnston and “lost control”.
“The perpetrator then picked up the bar stool and hit the victim in the head. He (Johnston) then fell not far from the warung,” police chief Pamungkas said. “The perpetrator is being charged with article 338, intentionally causing the loss of lives of others or murder that carries a maximum of 15 years of prison time.”
Arrested at his home in the hours after the incident, police say Wijaya admitted he had struck the Perth man, but told police he had not intended to harm or kill him, and claimed he was defending himself.
Wijaya told officers when they picked him up that he knew that Johnston had died.
“I’m very sorry, I regret it,” Wijaya told reporters at the press conference on Friday. “I knew him well. There was no intention of me whatsoever [to hurt him].”
Johnston had been holidaying in Bali with his wife and their young son.
Johnston had worked for mining company Rio Tinto in Perth. The company released a statement following Johnston’s death.
“We are devastated by the news that one of our much loved and valued team members has tragically passed away overseas,” Rio Tinto.
“Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with Troy’s family and friends, and we are providing them all the support we can during this very difficult time.”
“Troy’s colleagues are deeply saddened and we are providing them access to a range of support services.”