Two police officers were reportedly arrested on Monday for shooting and seriously injuring a 29-year-old man who refused to pay them a bribe at an unofficial roadside checkpoint in Phnom Penh’s Russei Keo district late Sunday night, the victim and police officials said.
Lying in a bed at Calmette Hospital—where doctors removed a bullet from the left side of his chest, just above his heart—Dy Vichet recounted the events that led up to him being shot by the angry police officers.
Mr. Vichet said he had been transporting a load of chilis from Phnom Penh to Kompong Chhnang province in his van with his wife and brother, when police stationed along Street 598 in Svay Pak commune stopped the vehicle at about 11:45 p.m. and demanded a cash bribe to let him continue on his journey.
“The police insulted my mother, so I did not give the money to them, and two police officers chased my car and a police officer hit my car’s [wing] mirror with a stone,” Mr. Vichet said from his hospital bed.
“When I got out of the car to see [the damage], a police officer shot me once,” he said. “I am very hurt, so I cannot give more details, but I know the face of the police officer who shot me.”
Mr. Vichet’s wife, Vath Sreyleak, 20, witnessed one of two police officers shoot her husband and told how the two officers then fled on their motorcycles leaving her stricken husband in the road.
“The police offer shot my husband with a pistol from about 10 meters away, then the police drove away, and my brother-in-law and I brought my husband to Calmette Hospital,” she said.
“We arrested two suspects. They are police. Now we are questioning them,” Phnom Penh Police Chief Lieutenant General Chuon Sovann said Monday evening, declining to comment further.
Deputy National Police Chief Lieutenant General Sok Phal declined to comment on the callous shooting.
(Additional reporting by Ben Woods)