A mob attacked a senior provincial police official on Thursday evening after he crashed into a motorbike rider with his SUV in Tbong Khmum province and tried to flee the scene, district police said Friday.
Moeun Leang Heng, the chief of the provincial police’s identification bureau, was driving at high speed near a market in Ponhea Krek district when he hit a motorbike, injuring its female driver, according to district police chief Om Monyvann.
“The driver drove at fast speed in town with lots of people [around him] when he hit a motorbike; the motorbike driver’s leg was left seriously injured and it might be broken,” Mr. Monyvann said.
As the driver tried to flee the scene in his SUV, four other motorbike riders followed him 20 kilometers to the provincial capital of Suong City, where he was stopped by local police.
As Mr. Leang Heng got out of his vehicle, the motorbike riders persuaded a group of people attending a wedding ceremony nearby to attack him, Suong district police chief Chhorn Sothon said.
“After he reached Suong near a wedding ceremony, we stopped him and as he got out of the car more than 30 villagers came to attack him,” Mr. Sothon said.
Contacted by telephone Friday, Mr. Leang Heng, who was left with minor gashes to his head, said that he had fled the scene not to escape the law, but rather because he feared being killed by the villagers.
“I know if I had stopped on the way I would have been attacked by them and the police or anyone else would not know, so I could only stop where there were some people around,” he said.
“I agree to face the law if I did wrong, but at that time I couldn’t stay because of those villagers that came to attack me.”
Tbong Khmum provincial traffic police chief So Sarath said that his officers had already concluded that the driver was at fault in the accident. But he echoed Mr. Leang Heng’s assertion that he only fled in order to escape attack.
“If along the way to Suong he had stopped, many more villagers might have hurt him,” he said.