THIS is the shocking moment a Brit gymgoer was brutally attacked with a dumbbell after refusing to give up the bench press.
Gary Reed, 46, needed 60 stitches after the terrifying incident at a fitness centre in Pattaya, Thailand, on May 17.
The ex-pat, from Hastings, East Sussex, was working out at the Coco Fitness gym when he was confronted by another Englishman.
The 46-year-old says the furious fitness fanatic complained that he had been waiting a while to use the bench press – despite there being numerous others available.
After explaining he wanted to finish his set, Gary assumed the man had shrugged off his impatience and was willing to wait.
He explained: “I was like ‘mate, just let me finish, I’ll be done in two minutes’, but he wasn’t having it.
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“There were others available to use, so I think he was looking for a fight.”
But just moments later, the brute charged over to the Brit with a seven-inch long 1kg metal dumbbell bar and horrifically smacked him in the face from behind.
The sickening surveillance footage shows the attacker, dressed in blue, striking an unsuspecting Gary as he continued his workout.
The Sussex-born fitness lover said: “He just came at me from behind like a coward and proper smashed me in the head.
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“As far as I’m concerned, he could have killed me. If you hit someone in the head with a hammer, it’s like attempted murder.
“This was a piece of metal as big and almost as heavy as a hammer. I’m lucky it didn’t knock me out.’
The brave 46-year-old quickly sprang into action and staggered to his feet, confronting the attacker before wrestling with him.
The brawl, which continued in full view of the security cameras, only ended when Gary managed to grip the attacker in a bear hug.
The man then fled on foot from the plush seafront gym.
Ex-pat Gary says he suffered a fractured right eye socket and bleeding on his retina after the frightening assault.
As far as I’m concerned, he could have killed me. If you hit someone in the head with a hammer, it’s like attempted murder.
He was forced to have 60 stitches at the hospital around his right eye and now needs a CT scan to check if he has sustained any brain damage.
And he has already had to fork out 25,000 Baht (£579) in medical fees – an amount he fears could continue to climb if he needs more treatment.
Gary said: ” This guy was still trying to hit me but I was strong enough to overpower him then he legged it.
“I’ve been left with a big hospital bill, so he needs to pay for that. I want the police to catch him so he can’t do this to anyone else.”
Cops are now searching for the suspect after identifying him from the gym’s visitor log and have appealed for him to come forward.
Police Lieutenant Khunthum Khantiwong said: “We already have the identity of the attacker from the gym’s membership log and encourage him to cooperate so he can explain his side as well.
“If he doesn’t hand himself in we will find him and he will be questioned about the attack on the CCTV video.”
The attacker’s gym membership has now been terminated following the incident.
The police station refused to provide the man’s identity while investigations are ongoing.