Police are seeking the arrest of individuals involved in the mob beating of a 52-year-old university professor in Phnom Penh on Sunday, which occurred after he reportedly fled from multiple hit-and-run accidents.
The incident took place on Sunday afternoon at about 3pm in Tuol Kork district’s Toek La’ak II commune.
Kong Chantha, a traffic police officer with Phnom Penh municipal police, identified the victim as Suy Samreth, a professor at the University of Cambodia.
He said Mr Samreth was driving his car alone along National Road 5 in Russey Keo district on Sunday when he hit a motorbike and seriously injured its driver.
After the accident, Mr Samreth fled into the city, added Mr Chantha.
The professor proceeded to crash into two more motorbikes near Depo Market in Tuol Kork district, according to Mr Chantha, who added that he again fled the scene.
Angry motorists, who saw the accident, drove their motorbikes in pursuit of Mr Samreth and finally stopped him near Preah Kossamak Hospital in Toek La’ak III commune.
“After stopping his car, angry motorists went to catch him,” he said. “They beat him unconscious and caused him to get very seriously injured. They also seriously damaged his car.”
Mr Chantha said the mob dispersed after the beating, while Mr Samreth was rescued by police and sent to hospital for treatment.
But due to his serious injuries, he was later sent by his family for treatment in Vietnam, where he remains in hospital.
Phnom Penh police chief General Chuon Sovann said officers were seeking to arrest the individuals who beat Mr Samreth and destroyed his car.
“In this case, we believe that the offender [Mr Samreth], who hit and injured other people with his car and then fled, has violated road traffic laws. He will be punished by the law,” he said.
“But the people who beat him and destroyed his car committed intentional acts of violence with aggravating circumstances and intentionally caused property damage with aggravating circumstances. They will also face legal charges and punishment.”
Gen Sovann said he has already ordered their arrests and that police were seeking to bring them to justice.