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Brick attack investigation proceeding

A CANADIAN man said yesterday that local police were investigating an attack in which he was hit in the head by a brick while walking near the riverside, and the municipal police chief said no complaints had been filed in connection with similar cases.

Patrick Falby, a former Post reporter, said last week that he was hit in the jaw with a brick while walking along the riverside last month. He reported to police that the brick was thrown from a Toyota SUV.

He said yesterday that police had been in contact with him since news reports about the attacks appeared in the media late last week.

“They told me they were still following the case,” he said. “Then I got a call last week, and they asked if I had been attacked by a brick again.”

He said his landlord informed him that police had visited his residence while he was absent, and had asked the landlord “if I was OK”.

Phnom Penh police chief Touch Naruth said he was aware that the case was being investigated, and speculated that Falby might have provoked the attack.

“Maybe the foreigner made an argument with other people, so then they threw a brick at the foreigner,” he said.

He added that police were unable to launch investigations into the other cases because no complaints had been filed. But he said police had ramped up their riverside presence in an attempt to ward off similar future attacks.

“We have not investigated because we do not have the victim’s complaint,” Touch Naruth said. “But we have deployed police along that road to prevent any more cases.”

Mom Sitha, director of the foreigners bureau of the Phnom Penh municipal police department, said police had still not identified potential suspects in any of the attacks.

“We have not identified who is a suspect yet,” he said. “If we knew, we would arrest them.”

He said the police presence had been increased along the riverfront in order to make the area “safer for tourists”.

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