Cop accused of attacking pregnant woman in northern Vietnam

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Police in Bac Giang Province are investigating a traffic cop accused of attacking a pregnant woman on December 28, causing severe head injuries and risking the life of her 11-week-old baby, Dan Tri reported on January 3.

The cop has yet to be identified.

The investigation was launched after family of Tong Thi Sen, 23, in Tien Hung Commune, Luc Nam District had claimed the traffic cop in Yen Dung District struck her in the head with a club because she was not wearing a helmet.

Wearing a helmet while on a motorbike is compulsory in Vietnam. 

Nguyen Van Tai, 24, Sen's husband and a Yen Dung local, quoted doctors as saying that she is suffering from accumulation of blood on her meninges, but because she is pregnant, they cannot perform surgery on her, adding that her fetus may be lost.

Tai told Dan Tri that his wife called him at around 9.30 a.m. to pick her up at an intersection in Yen Dung's Song Khe Commune.

Tai was in a hurry so he forgot to bring her a helmet.

On the street, they saw a group of traffic police officers on the opposite side so Tai tried to avoid them, he said. But one of them approached without notice and hit Sen on the back of her head with his club, which caused her to pass out.

The couple then fell off the motorbike and onto the street.

"The group of traffic cops, including the guy who hit my wife, approached to see what happened and then returned to their car as if they hadn't been involved.

"They had a car over there but did not take her to the hospital even though I begged them to."

Sen with an injury in the back of her head, which her family claimed to be caused by the traffic cop

Sen was then rushed to the local general hospital by passersby. She was transferred to a Hanoi hospital later the same day.

Tai said one day later three people in plainclothes claiming to be leaders of the Yen Dung Police, came and left a bag of fruit and VND500,000 (US$24) without saying anything.

Sen, with her face still swollen from the fall, told Dan Tri on January 1 after she had been brought back to Bac Giang hospital that she is still experiencing acute pain in her head.

"[But] what hurts me most now is that I still don't know whether I will be able to keep my baby or not."

Nguyen Van Son, chief of Yen Dung Police was quoted by the news website as saying that initial investigation showed that the officer did not hit Sen as Tai has claimed. According to him, the injuries incurred were the result of the fall which took place when the husband and wife were fleeing the police in fear.

Son said three officials had been sent to visit Sen on December 29 since the incident happened when and where officers from his department happened to be on duty.  

The couple had planned to be married on January 2. Their families still held the ceremony while the duo are still in the hospital since all the preparations had been made. 

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