Champasack police have issued a statement regarding the case of a man who was arrested for arguing with a police officer at a Covid-19 checkpoint.
A video released on social media on Friday depicted a heated exchange between a resident and several police officers at a Covid-19 checkpoint in Done Talad Village, Champasack.
During the exchange, a police officer was seen slapping a man on his head with an open palm, while the man struck his own motorbike with his fists.
Edited versions of the video quickly went viral on social media, prompting an outpour of sympathy for the man, with several people offering to donate money to him without hesitation.
The man in the video was identified by police as 37-year-old Khamphay Euealy, also known as Toui, a resident of Thangkhob Village, Champasak, according to a report by police news agency, Lao Security News.
Head of the Champasack Provincial Taskforce for Covid-19 Prevention and Control, Lieutenant Colonel Khamdeng Vongkhamsone, said in a statement yesterday that Mr. Khamphay clashed with a police officer at the Covid-19 checkpoint in Done Talad Village before being arrested.
During the incident, Mr. Khamphay failed to wear a face mask while riding his motorcycle through a blockade before returning to the checkpoint and damaging police property with a machete, according to Lieutenant Col. Khamdeng.
As police attempted to stop him, the man continued to ride his motorcycle through the barricade, claiming that he was unable to turn off his motorcycle engine.
“A police officer at the scene turned off Mr. Khamphay’s motorcycle and then struck his head, causing him to become enraged,” Lieutenant Col. Khamdeng added.
According to the police statement, shortly after the incident Mr. Khamphay admitted that he had recently purchased amphetamines.
Authorities are now continuing an investigation into the incident while Mr. Khamphay remains in custody.
Authorities have urged the public to avoid spreading rumors and to subscribe only to official news.