Teenager Jailed After Holding Baby Hostage While on Drugs

A 15-year-old boy was jailed in Takeo province’s Donkeo City last week after briefly taking a baby girl hostage while under the influence of drugs, officials said Sunday.

Holding a piece of broken glass to the 1-year-old’s forehead around noon on Thursday, the teenager repeatedly threatened to kill the infant as police attempted to calm him down and make sense of his nebulous demands, according to Sem Socheat, chief of the provincial police’s serious crimes bureau.

“He captured the small child for unclear purposes, not demanding money or anything else. He was hurting from the drugs inside him, which made him unable to control himself,” Mr. Socheat said, adding the police eventually moved close enough to grab the suspect’s arm and pull the baby to safety.

The boy was sent to the Takeo Provincial Court on Friday and charged with death threats and illegal drug use, then transferred to the provincial prison to await trial, Mr. Socheat said. Court officials could not be reached Sunday.

Acting Donkeo City police chief In Mondol said the two-hour standoff took place near a canal about 200 meters from the baby’s home. He said the teenager was from Siem Reap province and had been visiting a friend in the area when he decided to grab the girl from outside her house, where she had been playing alone.

“After he visited his friend’s house here, he walked around in the village and found a small piece of glass and put it in his pocket to protect himself,” Mr. Mondol said. “Then he arrived at the victim’s house.”

“The child was playing in front of her house while her mother was cooking inside,” he added. “The boy captured the small child and the child screamed, which made [the mother] and others come outside, but the boy held the girl and took her to a canal.”

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