Vietnam cops deny downing motorist with baton

Thanh Nien News

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An eyewitness confers with police in Dong Nai Province as they investigate accusations that traffic cops struck a motorist and sent him into a fall that fractured his skull. PHOTO COURTESY OF TUOI TRE

Police and prosecutors in the southern province of Dong Nai are investigating claims that traffic cops threw a baton at a fleeing motorist causing him to fall and fracture his skull.
The victim Truong Van Hanh, 22, said two police officers chased after him and threw clubs at him while driving his motorbike on Sunday morning.
He lost control and fell onto the street.
Hanh said he was driving at 60 kph and had encroached into the car lane.
An eyewitness, identified only as T.V.M., 25, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper the same story.
“While Hanh was running, I saw a police hit him with a club causing him to waver.
“Then the cop threw the club at him and made him fall.”
A senior police officer examining the scene claimed that Hanh fell while attempting to avoid a five-officer checkpoint team set up on the street.
“When Hanh saw the officers on the sidewalk, he wavered and fell. The officers didn’t beat him.”
Tran Tien Dat, spokesperson for the Dong Nai Province Police Department, said he was informed that Hanh fell while trying to flee after cops signaled for him to stop.
The officers allegedly tried to flag him down because he'd failed to buckle his crash helmet.
Doctors at Thong Nhat Hospital in neighboring Ho Chi Minh City said Hanh’s temple was swollen while CT scans have shown fractures in his skull.
The family has demanded that he be transferred to Cho Ray Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City, which is famous for its ability to treat trauma cases.
Dong Nai is around 35 kilometers to the northeast of HCMC.
The family and angry locals forced the police to bring Hanh to the city for treatment.
His brother Truong Van Tam said locals have made a fuss.
“They tried to seize two police motorbikes and a club that fell nearby so the police could not run away.”
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