Wife Held Hostage at Gunpoint in Car

ReutersInvestigators inspecting a car on Zatsepsky Val that was damaged when police commandos stormed it Thursday.
A jealous businessman took his common-law wife hostage Thursday morning in central Moscow, holding her at gunpoint inside his sports utility vehicle until police commandoes stormed the vehicle, arrested the assailant and freed the woman, law enforcement officials said.

Roman Mikhailov, 32, locked himself and his wife inside his BMW X5 at around 9 a.m. on Zatsepsky Val, near the Paveletsky Station on the Garden Ring, a city police spokesman said.

Mikhailov pulled out a handgun and began yelling at passers-by that he would shoot the woman, the spokesman said on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing investigation.

Mikhailov then produced what appeared to be a homemade explosive device, which he threatened to detonate if police and reporters did not arrive immediately, the spokesman said.

Police commandoes arrived at the scene within 30 minutes and negotiated with Mikhailov until they realized more drastic measures were necessary, the spokesman said. They proceeded to storm the vehicle, smashing in the windows.

Footage broadcast on Channel One television Thursday evening showed the commandoes pulling the suspect up through the sunroof of the SUV.

"The man no longer poses a danger to the public," Vladimir Kolchuk, head of investigations at the Zamoskvoretsky District branch of the Investigative Committee, said in televised comments.

Mikhailov's wife was unharmed, Kolchuk said.

Prosecutors have classified the incident as illegal confinement, Kolchuk said. If charged and convicted on that count, Mikhailov could face up to five years in prison.