An Australian woman who was assaulted in Battambang City last week said that a police account—which claimed that she had drunkenly driven into her attacker—was false, adding that the suspect was identified because he was wearing one of her flip-flops.
City police chief Pang Heang said on Monday that Diana Thompson, 59, was driving home from a bar on Wednesday last week when she collided with Nhan Chamroeun, 22, who proceeded to punch her in the face following a verbal argument.
However, Ms. Thompson said on Tuesday that she was sober and attempting to unlock the gate to her house when Mr. Chamroeun emerged from the darkness and attempted to steal a bag she was carrying.
“When he realized I wasn’t going to let him take my bag, he threw me to the ground and dragged me by the hair along the road, scraping my arms and legs. He started kicking my head and my body,” she said, adding that her screaming was drowned out by machinery at an ice factory next door.
“In the struggle, both of his flip-flops came off. When I kicked him in the balls and he let go [of me], a moto appeared down the lane, and that’s when he realized the gig was up,” she said.
Ms. Thompson—an English teacher who said she had only been drinking water while hosting a trivia quiz at a local guesthouse on the evening of the attack—added that Mr. Chamroeun grabbed two flip-flops before he ran away, one of his and one of hers.
“When [the police] found him on Sunday, he was still wearing them—one of his and one of mine,” she said.
Mr. Heang, the police chief, admitted on Tuesday that his version of events was based on the answers given by Mr. Chamroeun under questioning, as he had not reviewed the entire case file, including Ms. Thompson’s side of the story.
Mr. Chamroeun was charged with intentional violence on Monday and is awaiting trial at the provincial prison.
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