Military Police Arrested for Shot Fired in Bar Fight

Two military police officers were arrested before dawn Wednesday after drawing their guns in public during a drunken bar fight in Phnom Penh’s Prampi Makara district, according to local police.

Veal Vong commune police chief Mok Boranchorsac said that Kuch Yimsophea, 52, and Ouk Bora, 38, were drinking at a streetside bar with two friends when an argument broke out at about 4:55 a.m. after Mr. Bora said he wanted to go home.

Mr. Boranchorsac said that Mr. Yimsophea 52, an accountant for the military police, shot once in the air as a “warning” to Mr. Bora, a military police administration assistant, not to leave the venue.

“Mr. Yimsophea shot one time in the air and then used physical violence to hit Mr. Bora on the head,” Mr. Boranchorsac said. “They are both military police and each had a gun.”

“Mr. Bora received an injury to his mouth—it was bloodied during the attack—but it was not serious,” he said.

Mr. Boranchorsac said the pair, along with their two friends, were arrested and taken to district police headquarters for questioning before being sent to military police headquarters.

The two other men were aged between 38 and 40, he said, but he did not note their names as they were simply witnesses to the incident.

Military police spokesman Brigadier General Kheng Tito said Wednesday that he was aware that the altercation had taken place.

When asked if the officers would be sent to court, Mr. Tito said it was just a “small case” and noted that one had been injured, although he did not specifically rule out court action.

“They will be punished in accordance with the internal rules of soldiers because they violated the rules [by using their guns in public],” he said.

Brig. Gen. Tito said the four Wednesday were being detained at National Military Police headquarters, and would be “educated” before facing punishment.

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