Manhunt follows hospital knifings

Manhunt follows hospital knifings

An allegedly mentally ill man, accused of stabbing two people at a Phnom Penh hospital while waiting for his brother on Friday, remained at large yesterday, police said.

Police in the capital are searching for Rodom Yum, 35, who allegedly stabbed an outgoing patient and a visitor at Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital, in what his brother described as a likely instance of paranoid delusion.

“My brother was talking too much, so I told him to sit down and keep silent,” said Rochom Tong, 32, who was accompanied by Yum at the hospital when he was admitted with a stomach ache.

Tong described his brother – who he said was diagnosed with a mental disorder at the age of 5 – as ranting that people in the facility were closing in to “arrest” him.

“The doctor took me to the X-ray room, and I heard about the incident when I came back; he took my fruit knife.”

While his brother was being examined, Yum allegedly used his knife to stab a 17-year-old girl waiting for her mother in the emergency room, and 50-year-old Mom Rattanak, who was getting ready to leave the hospital after a brief stay, Chuon Narin, Phnom Penh Municipal deputy police chief, said yesterday.

The teen was stabbed in the chest, and transferred to Calmette Hospital with a punctured lung, while Rattanak remained in Khmer-Soviet with stab wounds to his neck, chin and forearm.

“We do not need the warrant from the court since the suspect obviously committed the crime,” Narin said.

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