Reporters Clash With Man as They Film Scene of Car Crash

A fight broke out between a group of reporters and a man, who police did not identify, on Sunday evening as the group attempted to film the scene of a car crash near the 7 Makara Skybridge in Phnom Penh, officials and journalists said Monday.

Tey Sovannareth, Tuol Kok district deputy police chief in charge of traffic, said the altercation took place at about 10 p.m. as a friend of the driver, who had fled the scene, attempted to stop reporters from filming.

“Before the clash, one car hit into barriers near the 7 Makara Skybridge, then another man tried to solve the problem for his friend who had crashed the car,” said Mr. Sovannareth, adding he did not know the name of the driver or his friend and was only investigating the initial crash.

“I heard…the reporters were angry with a man after the crash happened and he slapped the reporter until he dropped the camera,” he said.

In a video posted to a local news website, the man—dressed in a black T-shirt and camouflage pants —is shown arguing with reporters in an attempt to stop them filming. He then returns to his white SUV before jumping out and going after one of the reporters who continued recording him.

The group of reporters then begins punching, kicking and hitting the man with their motorbike helmets.

Nou Phanna, 43, a reporter from Hang Meas television who was involved in the altercation, said the argument started after the man, whom he identified as a garage-owner in Tuol Kok district, attempted to prevent them from doing their job.

“He slapped my light and camera down…then the man tried to drive away, suddenly other reporters took video of his car again and when he got out about five people hit him until he started bleeding,” he said.

Mr. Phanna said the feud was resolved after the man agreed to compensate him for breaking his equipment.

“I decided to accept $500 and finish it because I don’t want to make a long problem,” he said.

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