Police in Phnom Penh's Chroy Changvar district are building a legal case against a military officer after he deliberately rammed into a lockdown barricade.
According to a Facebook post by municipal police chief Sar Thet, the 31-year-old officer, Khieu Chansopheaktra, crashed his motorbike into the barricade at the Taprom roundabout on the morning of April 20. The post said Chansopheaktra, a resident of the capital's Tuol Kork district, also insulted and assaulted the authorities.
"Police are preparing to send him to court after bringing him in for questioning at the district police," it said.
Municipal police spokesman San Sokseyha said a video of the incident had gone viral on Facebook, showing a scuffle breaking out between the police and Chansopheaktra during his arrest. He swung his crash helmet and struck a police officer with it, leaving him bleeding from a cut on his forehead.
“Obviously, our police arrested him so that he will not cause further problems. At present, the Chroy Changvar district police chief is questioning him and will send him to court,” he said.
Sokseyha said he could not immediately confirm whether Chansopheaktra was suffering from mental illness.
But some local media outlets have quoted letters from Calmette Hospital and the Cambodia-China Friendship Preah Kossamak Hospital as saying that the officer suffered from psychological problems and that he is required to take daily medication.
In 2016, Chansopheaktra’s life took a tragic turn when his car overturned on National Road 48 in Koh Kong province. Two of the man’s family members were killed in the accident as well as an unborn child, as one of them was pregnant. After the accident, Sopheaktra then divorced his wife and his mental condition apparently continued to deteriorate.