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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Homeless Man Burned Alive For Sleeping in Stairwell

A Moscow man has been arrested on suspicion of dousing a homeless man he found sleeping in his stairwell with gasoline and setting him on fire, a law enforcement source told Interfax.
 
There are between 10,000 and 30,000 homeless people in Moscow, according to various estimates, and, particularly during winter, they often seek refuge in the Moscow metro or the stairwells of apartment buildings. Some 400 homeless people die of exposure in Moscow annually, according to Vechernyaya Moskva.
 
On the night of Feb. 10, the 24-year-old suspect, having seen the homeless man sleeping between the 14th and 15th floors of his apartment building on Shosse Entuziastov, on Moscow's eastern outskirts, retrieved a plastic canister of gasoline from his Gazel minivan, police told RIA-Novosti.
 
He returned to the sleeping man, poured the gasoline over him and set him alight, after which he returned to his apartment to sleep, Rosbalt reported, adding that the suspected had admitted to the crime.
 
The following day, "the charred body of an unidentified man" was discovered, a law enforcement source told Interfax. Police picked up the suspect the next day, on Feb. 12.
 
The motive appeared to be the fact that the homeless man had basically moved into the stairwell and was consistently interfering with the suspect's sleep, the Rosbalt report said.
 
The suspect has been charged with aggravated murder, presumably for the particularly barbaric nature of the crime, and could face up to life in prison if convicted.