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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Off-Duty Police Beat LDPR Deputy

For MTIvan Musatov
A State Duma deputy was brutally beaten by off-duty police officers when he tried to stop them from beating a teenager near Paveletsky Station.

Ivan Musatov, 29, of the ultranationalist Liberal Democratic Party, said Tuesday that he was meeting with friends on Friday when he saw two men in plainclothes kicking and beating the teen.

"The guy was a really skinny teenager, so I rushed out of the car and ordered the men to stop beating him. At that moment, they switched from the boy to me," Musatov said by telephone from the Central Clinical Hospital, where he is being treated for several broken ribs, a broken nose and a concussion.

When two of Musatov's friends tried to intervene, 15 other men joined the melee, Musatov said. "They were all in civilian clothes, and they rushed to us from the nearby metro exit and kiosks," he said.

Musatov said he tried to hide in a flower shop and asked the saleswoman to call the police.

An assailant who chased after Musatov said, "We are the police," and showed the saleswoman his identification, according to Musatov.

Musatov said he then produced his own Duma ID card, and the man then called it a fake, handcuffed him and resumed hitting him.

The brawl continued until Deputy City Prosecutor Sergei Lapin and a deputy Moscow police chief arrived. "If not for them, I would be dead by now," Musatov said.

Moscow police refused to comment about the incident Tuesday, directing inquiries to the City Prosecutor's Office, which has opened an investigation. Calls to the prosecutor's office press service went unanswered.

Vremya Novostei, citing the prosecutor's office, reported that two police sergeants, identified only as Mamyrin and Alexeyev, were arrested Monday and charged with abuse of power and hooliganism. A third policeman, Khasanov, is hospitalized with an eye injury and faces similar charges, the newspaper said.

All the attackers were off-duty police officers, it said.

Musatov's father, Mikhail, the deputy head of the Duma's Defense Committee, said he had written letters to Prosecutor General Vladimir Ustinov and Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev demanding a thorough investigation.

"It is inconceivable that police officers, even when off duty, can behave in such a manner," he told Vremya Novostei. "And what if they had been armed? Would they have started firing?"

Mikhail Musatov himself was beaten during a mugging by three unidentified assailants at his dacha in the Moscow region in May 1999.

In addition to him and his son, six deputies have been targets of beatings since 1994, Gazeta reported.

Nurgaliyev ordered police officers last week to be "polite" and "tactful" in their interactions with ordinary people. In a letter addressed to "policemen, sergeants and officers" and posted on the Interior Ministry's web site, Nurgaliyev said a "polite, benevolent" relationship with citizens was "the primary requirement" of a "moral and professional" image for police forces.