A commune police officer and a village security guard were seriously burned Wednesday night after a thief, whom they were attempting to arrest, threw burning petrol at the duo in Phnom Penh’s Por Sen Chey district.
Tep Pov, the suspect and a resident of the district’s Choam Chao commune, was attempting to burglarise a house in the same commune when the owner of the house locked him in a room and alerted the authorities, according to commune police chief Theng Kosal.
However, the room contained bottles of gasoline, which Pov started to burn and throw at Chaom Chao commune policeman Ket Yavan and security guard Av Som Oeun as they attempted to enter the room.
“Now both officials are receiving treatment by the doctors at Por Sen Chey District Referral Hospital,” Kosal said.
Following Pov’s arrest, Kosal said more than 100 villagers, who gathered to put out the fire, beat up the burglar despite attempts by police to stop them. He was taken to hospital and charges were yet to be filed as of yesterday.
The family registered a complaint with district police officials, with Pen Phally, a member of the family, saying that once locked in the room, Pov attempted to burn down the house.
Phally added that the police fired two shots in the air, after which they were able to arrest Pov and prevent the house from entirely burning down.
Following interrogation, Por Sen Chey district deputy police chief Touch Phorn said Pov revealed that he had an accomplice waiting for him outside the house, who fled after seeing the home’s owner.
“According to his answers, the suspect admitted that he had a partner waiting on a bicycle, but when he [Pov] went in and the house owner arrived, his friend rode away on his bicycle,” Phorn said.