A university student who was arrested in Phnom Penh on Tuesday over a string of drunken hit-and-runs in his Lexus SUV said Thursday that he decided to end his rampage by crashing into the U.S. ambassador’s residence because he had hoped embassy security guards would protect him from a pursuing mob.
Tann Sovannara, 21, left a trail of destruction on Tuesday night that began just south of Boeng Keng Kang market and ended when he crashed into the wall surrounding Ambassador William Todd’s mansion on Norodom Boulevard.
While waiting to be questioned at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Thursday, Mr. Sovannara said he tried to apologize to the driver of the car he hit near the market, but that the situation quickly escalated.
“I said sorry, along with my two friends, but the driver refused [the apology] and yelled I was a thief,” he said. “Shortly afterward, people began driving around and they threw rocks at me and my car.”
Mr. Sovannara said that once people started throwing rocks, he began to fear for his life and decided to flee. “I would have died if I had stayed there,” he said.
With a mob of angry moto-taxi drivers in pursuit, Mr. Sovannara said, he crashed into the U.S. ambassador’s residence in a desperate attempt to reach two security guards posted there who he had hoped would protect him.
“I’m so sorry to the embassy, but it was not my intention to crash into that wall,” he said.
Tin Vansy, a municipal traffic police officer, said Mr. Sovannara would be questioned at the municipal court again Friday.