A mentally ill man was arrested in Battambang town Thursday after a violent rampage that injured a young fruit seller and ended with the man slashing his own throat, causing painful but nonfatal injuries.
The man, who identified himself to police only as Mao from Pursat province, was hospitalized earlier last week at Battambang provincial hospital, Battambang district police chief Thuch Ra said Sunday.
But Mao was ordered removed from the hospital after doctors complained of his violent outbursts, Thuch Ra said.
In response, police loaded Mao in their vehicle and dumped him 6 km outside of Battambang town, the district chief said.
A few days later, Mao resurfaced at the taxi station in Battambang town, where he hurled stones into the crowd, striking a young woman in the head and shattering a mirror on a car, Thuch Ra said.
As vendors, taxi drivers and shoppers scrambled for cover and three police wielding shields approached him, Mao raised a knife and slashed his own throat twice, Thuch Ra said, adding that the wounds were not deep enough to cause serious injury. He did not react as police closed in and apprehended him, the chief added.
Police put him on a pickup truck taxi Saturday with orders for him to return to his home in Pursat, provincial Deputy Police Chief So Sam An said.
“We did nothing to him. We arrested him, and we did not know where we would detain him because the court does not accept mentally ill men,” So Sam An said.
The lack of treatment options for the mentally ill makes rehabilitation difficult for such a patient, said Ka Sunbaunat, chairman of the mental health subcommittee at the Ministry of Health.
“Now we have no ability to help such a person because we have no center to take care of them,” he said. “If we were to have it, we would have measures to prevent them from harming other people,” he said.