Man Tossed From Floating Restaurant Drowns in River

Cafes and restaurants are common sites for all sorts of felonies in Russia, from brawls to knife fights to assassinations of mob bosses. This is perhaps unsurprising given that alcohol flows freely in these venues. Alcohol, after all, fuels much of this country’s violent crime, as regular Crime Watch readers know.

What might have been a benign drunken restaurant scuffle turned deadly this week, however, thanks to the specifics of the establishment. The Frigate Flagman is a floating restaurant on the section of the Volkhov River in the northwestern city of Veliky Novgorod, in the Novgorod region. On June 26, a Tver resident named Alexei Valenyuk, 35, began arguing with a 20-year-old man from the Pskov region while dining on the boat, investigators said.

What sparked the quarrel is unclear. But at some point Valenyuk grabbed his foe by the belt and tossed him over the railing into the river, according to regional investigators. Tragically, the young man did not know how to swim. His body was discovered four days later. The cause of death was drowning, and investigators found no signs of other bodily injuries.

Valenyuk has been detained and faces charges of manslaughter, punishable by up to two years in prison.

There was no mention of the incident on the web site of the Frigate Flagman, whose motto reads: “For you we chose the best. From Japan to Europe.”