Penal Police Officer Arrested for Discharging Gun in Public

A penal police officer was arrested early Monday morning in Phnom Penh after firing his gun at the ground outside a nightclub in Prampi Makara district, military police said Tuesday.

District military police commander Soy Chan Dy said Chhorm Seyharith, 34, was arrested after fleeing the club, where he discharged his weapon at about midnight.

“The suspect shot one time into the ground and no one got injured,” Mr. Chan Dy said, adding Mr. Seyharith had been drinking at the club. “I don’t know why he shot his gun,” he added.

Mr. Chan Dy said his forces gave chase when Mr. Seyharith left the club and began driving toward Chamkar Mon district.

Khuon Sam Ol, Chamkar Mon district military police commander, said he heard the reports of the chase on a police radio frequency and ordered his officers to set up a roadblock.

“I heard by walkie-talkie from Prampi Makara that a Mercedes car was fleeing the shooting and coming, so I ordered my officers to make the arrest,” he said.

Mr. Sam Ol said Mr. Seyharith was arrested on Street 163 at about 1 a.m. and sent to the Phnom Penh military police headquarters.

“We have to arrest anyone shooting in public like that, even without direct orders to do so,” he said.

Pol Davy, deputy commander of the municipal military police, said Mr. Seyharith’s fate would be decided by his superiors at the Interior Ministry.

“He is a police officer with the Interior Ministry, so punishment will depend on the Interior Ministry’s work,” he said.

Bun Satya, chief of the municipal police’s minor crimes bureau, said Mr. Seyharith arrived at his office Tuesday, along with a report from military police that concluded the gun was likely fired accidentally.

“The police officer, he just arrived at my office,” Mr. Satya said, adding he planned to send Mr. Seyharith to the Interior Ministry’s personnel department, which he said would likely “remove his rank.”

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