New Year Party-Goers Turn On Noisy Police

A crowd of angry villagers in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district who were celebrating Chinese New Year on Friday evening performed a citizen’s arrest on two men—both police officers—whom they accused of disrupting the peace.

The two police officers had been wildly riding around the area where the lunar New Year festivities were taking place and revving a loud motorcycle, and villagers were concerned that they might knock down young children, according to Van Boeurng, deputy Prek Phnov commune police chief.

Villagers shouted at the pair to stop making noise and be more careful, at which point one of the two officers pistol-whipped a villager, further incensing the crowd, Mr. Boeurng said.

“They rode a big motorbike and had a gun too,” he said. “About 50 people crowded round to stop them and one of the police officers shot two bullets into the air.”

Nearby commune police then arrived at the scene, taking the pair to the local police station for questioning, Mr. Boeurng said.

Hang Vanny, second deputy commune police chief, would not give the names of the two men, but said they were police officials.

“They are low-ranking officials because they had guns,” he said, explaining the men had behaved badly because they were drunk.

Commune police then passed the men on to district police, and they are currently undergoing questioning with the municipal police, Sorm Lythol, district penal police chief, said Sunday.

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