Cop Mows Down Pedestrian With Car, Buries Body

Two similar cases do not a crime trend make. Nonetheless, two cases in which cops run over civilians and hide their bodies to cover up the evidence is two too many, if you ask me.

A police detective in Chelyabinsk has been arrested on suspicion of plowing over a 38-year-old man in the early hours of April 7, the regional branch of the Investigative Committee said in a statement.

Official statements by police or prosecutors typically leave the lurid details for boulevard papers like Tvoi Den to dig up. But apparently, the Chelyabinsk investigators were left little choice but to include this ugly nugget: “With the goal of covering up the crime, the police officer buried the victim’s body.”

The officer, Vitaly Yuzynchuk, was driving his Honda on the outskirts of town at about 1 a.m. when he slammed into the pedestrian, who died at the scene of his injuries, a regional Investigative Committee spokesman told Gazeta.ru.

It's unclear from the press statements and media reports exactly how the purported crime came to light. A regional police spoksman told Gazeta.ru that it took just a few days to identify Yuzynchuk as the driver, and that when the suspect caught wind of the investigation, he admitted to killing and burying the victim. Yuzynchuk said the pedestrian unexpectedly jumped out into the road, the police spokesman said.

Citing law enforcement sources, local television reported that two other officers were in the car at the time of the accident, and that all of the men were drunk, the local edition of Komsomolskaya Pravda reported.

Officers at Yuzynchuk’s precinct were none too loquacious when reached for comment by Gazeta.ru: “You want to write more crap about policeman,” a person who answered the phone at the precinct told the web site. “No comment.”

Yuzynchuk faces vehicular manslaughter charges, punishable by up to three years in prison, investigators said. There was no mention of charges for burying the corpse.

As I mentioned earlier, this is the second such case in the last nine months in Russia. Last August, a Vladimir region traffic cop mowed down a female cyclist while behind the wheel of his own car. The officer, Yevgeny Spitsyn, placed the woman’s body in a ditch on the side of the road and covered it up with branches. In a curious twist, Spitsyn took part in the investigation of the crime after the body was discovered but eventually confessed when it became clear that he would be implicated.