Preah Sihanouk Provincial Court on Wednesday jailed a Serbian national on assault and attempted arson charges over the beating of a pizza shop owner, whose store was nearly burned down by the accused in Sihanoukville.
Pol Phosda, chief of Sihanoukville police, identified the accused as 37-year-old Serbian national Milos Micevic, a tour boat driver.
Mr Phosda said Mr Milos assaulted Chhorn Sorya, 36, owner of Jungle Bar and Phorn Rithy, 30, a staff member, on Tuesday for refusing to sell him pizza.
After the beating, Mr Milos attempted to burn the shop down using gasoline, Mr Phosda added.
Mr Phosda said that Jungle Bar simply did not have any more pizza left to sell and added that a misunderstanding arose, leading to the violent incident in which Mr Milos accused the bar owner of discrimination.
“The Serbian went to the bar late at night to buy a pizza but couldn’t get it because there were no pizzas left,” he said. “However, when he saw other customers eating pizza, he started accusing the owner of discriminating against him.”
“It was because of this misunderstanding that the foreigner started assaulting the owner and attempted to burn down his shop using gasoline,” he added.
Mr Phosda noted that if it wasn’t for prompt intervention from the Koh Rong Sanloem commune police, the shop would have been completely destroyed.
Kol Phally, chief of the penal department of the provincial police, confirmed that the suspect was charged with assault and was jailed on Wednesday.
“The court decided to send him to prison. He was charged with assault for beating up two people and attempting to burn down the bar,” he said. “He was lucky the fire was stopped on time.”