A commune police officer, the acting chief of an administrative police post in Prek Phnov commune, had his left hand chopped off in an arrest gone awry on Wednesday night in Phnom Penh.
Captain Ly Sophal, chief of the criminal investigation department in Prek Phnov district, identified the victim as Second Lieutenant Im Rithy, 36, who was attacked by a drug user named Am Dalin, 30.
Lt Rithy is now receiving treatment at Calmette Hospital.
On Wednesday night, according to Cap Sophal, the victim received a report about the suspect, who had threatened his parents with a machete because he was angry that they refused to give him money to buy drugs.
He said that after arriving at the suspect’s house, Lt Rithy, who was accompanied by two other police officers under his command, entered the suspect’s house at about 10pm in order to arrest him.
“The suspect, who was hiding inside the house, took a machete and attacked the officer. He slashed him many times,” Cap Sophal said.
“To defend himself from the attack, the victim raised his left arm,” he added. “But the suspect chopped him on his left arm, which cut off his hand.”
Cap Sophal said Mr Dalin was arrested by police later the same night while the victim was immediately sent to Calmette Hospital for treatment. After the suspect’s arrest, police seized his machete.
Colonel Chhin Kimthuy, chief of Prek Phnov district police, said the suspect was a known drug user in the village.
He said the suspect had been arrested by local police three times over his involvement with drugs. He was sent to the municipal rehabilitation centre, but resumed using drugs following his release.
He said Mr Dalin had just been released from a municipal rehabilitation centre in Phnom Penh a few days before his arrest.
Col Kimthuy added the suspect was preliminarily charged by police with intentional acts of violence with aggravating circumstances and obstruction of a public official, and faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
Mr Dalin is being temporarily detained at the district police station and will be sent to the municipal court for questioning today.