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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Retired Officer Torn Apart by Guard Dogs

For MTThe fate of the two dogs is not yet clear.
A retired Interior Ministry officer was killed last week after he was torn apart by guard dogs that his acquaintance had sicced on him in the midst of a drunken quarrel, police said.

Shortly past midnight on Jan. 13, the retired officer, 57-year-old Anatoly Smolyaninov, was drinking with 69-year-old Ibragim Priznyakov at a parking lot near 150 Varshavskoye Shosse in southern Moscow when the two began to quarrel, police spokesman Valery Buzovkin said Monday.

According to Priznyakov, who was working as a security guard at the parking lot, Smolyaninov began shoving him and threatening him. "He started pushing me in the chest and beating me," Priznyakov told Channel 3 television later that day.

In an attempt to defend himself, Priznyakov let loose two of the parking lot's guard dogs, who proceeded to attack Smolyaninov.

"As soon as the security guard saw that the dogs were tearing him to pieces, he tried to pull them off, but they were too strong for him," Buzovkin said.

After the dogs were finished with Smolyaninov, Priznyakov dragged him into his office and covered him up with a mattress, where he was found the next morning at around 10 a.m. by the owner of the parking lot, Vladimir Levochkin, who promptly called police to the scene. Smolyaninov had died from shock by the time Levochkin found him, Buzovkin said.

"I opened the door, and here in the doorway ... lay a man covered by a mattress," Levochkin told Channel 3. "Only the head was sticking out. I said, 'Is he alive?' And [Priznyakov] went over, lifted up the side of the mattress, touched him with his hand and said, 'He's cold.'"

Priznyakov, who remained at the scene until Levochkin's arrival, said he let the dogs out strictly in self-defense, and Buzovkin said the security guard showed physical signs that he had been attacked.

City Crime Statistics
January 12-18
Theft (total)816306
Apartment burglaries11412
Car theft239
For the Record
Car accidents140
    a) killed25
    b) injured157
Public drunkenness1,702
    a) detained overnight538
Missing persons38
Bodies discovered80
*City police said that due to technical problems, Jan. 14 statistics were missing for rape, apartment burglaries, car theft, suicides, missing persons and bodies discovered.

Source: Moscow police

"Either that or he fell down a flight of stairs somewhere," Buzovkin said.

Levochkin defended the actions of his employee and the dogs. "The dogs did their job," he said in the television interview. "If the dogs hadn't defended him, the old man would be a corpse right now."

Be that as it may, the Chertanovskaya district prosecutor's office has charged Priznyakov with murder due to excessive self-defense. If convicted, he could land in prison for up to two years.

Priznyakov remained free but had orders not to leave the city, Buzovkin said.

As for the dogs, they were still penned up at the garage this week. According to Buzovkin, one of them had earlier exhibited similarly disturbing behavior, when it bit a person unprovoked in May.

"Theoretically they should be put to sleep," Buzovkin said. "But legally, it is not clear what will happen to them. In general, a security dog should be there only to bark and alert the security guard that something suspicious is happening. He shouldn't attack people."

It was unclear what the dogs' pedigrees were, but police spokeswoman Natalya Maltseva said experts classified them as a mix between a Mastino and several other breeds.