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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Violent chase ends with officer’s arrest

Kampong Cham police officer Chhen Sophat has been arrested for allegedly shooting at and beating up a driver in a road-rage incident.
Kampong Cham police officer Chhen Sophat has been arrested for allegedly shooting at and beating up a driver in a road-rage incident. STRINGER

Violent chase ends with officer’s arrest

The nephew of a Kampong Cham provincial police official is being held at the provincial prison after he allegedly opened fire on, chased and beat a teen in Memot district following a traffic dispute last Thursday.

Chhen Sophat, a 27-year-old police officer in Kampong Cham, who is provincial deputy police commissioner Chhim Senghong’s nephew, faces assault and weapon charges, Kampong Cham provincial prosecutor Huot Vuthy said.

“Based on the evidence, the court charged him with violence and illegal use of a weapon,” Vuthy told the Post yesterday.

The alleged assault occurred on the night of October 3, when Sophat accused Chheun Vicheth, 19, of sideswiping and damaging his car when Vicheth passed in his own car, Vuthy said.

Sophat then chased after Vicheth in his car, firing his gun at him.

As he evaded his attacker, the prosecutor said, a terrified Vicheth stopped his car abruptly and ran toward a villager’s home in an attempt to hide from Sophat.

But Sophat caught up with the victim, beating him and injuring him, Vuthy said.

“After the suspect – who was wearing civilian clothes – opened fire at the victim, he beat him, causing injury,” the prosecutor said regarding the alleged attack.

When contacted by the Post about the case yesterday, deputy commissioner Senghong said he does not plan to intervene with his nephew’s criminal case.

The legal system should be left to run its course without his intervention, he said.

“I will not get involved with this case,” Senghong said. “If he did it, then he will take responsibility for himself.”

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