A Google Street View driver was recently detained by a mob of Thai villagers because they thought the car was doing secret reconnaissance in the area. According to a Guardian report, the villagers performed a citizens’ arrest on the driver, and made the man swear on a statue of Buddha that he wasn’t a spy. The band of people who participated in the act have reportedly apologized, both to the driver and Google.
The village where the incident took place, Sa-eab, apparently has a history of protesting dam projects and thought the driver was surveying the area in disguise. As the Street View car was driving through the village, around 20 residents surrounded the vehicle and forced the driver to get out. The villagers then took the driver to a temple, but eventually let him go after they realized he wasn’t a threat.
“(We) apologize to the official, to Google, as well as to the Thai people through the nation and to the citizens of the worlds,” an apology from the village said.
Google, for its part, didn’t make a big deal out of the situation, saying that it sometimes runs into unexpected challenges when embarking on Street View projects. Of course, the search giant has run into its fair share of issues in the past, such as being guilty of collecting private information and photographing things it shouldn’t with Street View. This definitely takes the cake, though.