I bet you woke up this morning wondering what hell Junie Browning is into these days. If you didn’t, tomorrow is another day. In Junie’s world, though, things are rather complicated. Tomorrow, for Junie, really depends on whether he can make it over the Thai border before someone kills him.
Junie “The Lunatik” Browning is a 26-year-old MMA fighter from Lexington, Kentucky. After his big break landing a spot on season eight of Spike TV’s reality show, “The Ultimate Fighter,” Junie quickly developed a “bad guy” persona for his wanton belligerence. When not verbally assaulting UFC president Dana White and manhandling poor bastards in the ring, Junie was often given to states of boredom, which he remedied by guzzling whiskey and picking fights with other cast members. In the absence of willing opponents Junie sometimes turned to wrecking furniture to indulge his crazed, yet jocular, appetite for destruction. When asked about his antics in an interview with MMAJunkie.com Junie explained himself, saying “I didn’t let the camera dictate how I was going to act. I would act crazy, or do what I normally do.” — And it was acting crazy and doing what he normally does that got him kicked out of the UFC shortly thereafter.
In October of 2009 Junie was brought up on assault charges for beating up three nurses in St. Rose Dominican Hospital in Henderson, NV after overdosing on anxiety meds. During his foray in nurse-battering Junie was reported to have repeatedly threatened all present, yelling “do you know who I am? I will kill you and rape your family.” After hearing of Junie’s freak-out, the UFC terminated his contract. Since then news of Junie Browning has been rather wanting… until last week.
On the night of December 11th 2011 Junie wound up in a bar brawl in Phuket, Thailand. According to the Phuket News, Junie and his girlfriend found themselves in a 10-12 person melee when a fight broke out between Junie and a female employee. Junie took a few beer bottles to the head and incurred a few stab wounds before passing out and being carted away in an ambulance. From Junie’s personal account in the Phuket News he adds that, “On a positive note, I managed to break a few orbital bones, at least a couple jaws, and (left) some unconscious bodies laying on the ground before I blacked out from loss of blood.”
At the hospital Junie got word that his attackers were in a neighboring room, so he wrote them a letter of apology and offered to pay their hospital bills. Actually, no. That didn’t happen. Instead, Junie pulled out his IV and went looking for them. And he apparently found them and mangled somebody else’s orbital bone before fleeing the hospital, evading police. According to a letter Junie sent the Phuket News explaining his actions, he fled after being tipped off that the people he’d just belabored were connected to the Thai mafia.
A manhunt by the Thai police and maybe the mafia is now underway as Junie and his girlfriend remain at large. According to Junie’s father who’s been in contact with his girlfriend via Facebook, the US Embassy has refused to intervene. Judging from Junie’s suggestion of fleeing the country in his letter, it is presumed that he is now making a break for the Malaysian border.
I cannot imagine this manhunt will last very long. Junie will have a difficult time getting out of Thailand without help, and finding help in Thailand is a task he is probably not up to. Diplomatically dealing with people to achieve his goals does not seem to be Junie’s strong point. And disguising his identity is also totally out of the question. If the tattoo of a grenade on his right hand doesn’t betray his identity, his Eastern Kentucky accent and untreated cuts and stab wounds will.
In the best-case scenario Junie’s tomorrow will involve a Thai jail cell or a flight out of Malaysia. Worst case scenario, we just don’t hear from him anymore. Whatever the outcome, there’s no doubt that Junie’s story is Quentin-Tarantino-film worthy.
Update (Evening, Dec 21st 2011):
The hunt is now over. The Phuket Wan Tourism News just reported that Junie and his girlfriend have conceded to Thai authorities at the Chalong Police Station in southern Phuket. The decision to turn himself in came after a warden with the US Embassy advised Junie’s surrender. More interestingly, though, several participants from the bar brawl just happened to be at the police station when Junie arrived. Mention of whether any more orbital bones were busted before the police got Junie in a cell of his own has not been made…