Teens face trial over deadly police impersonations

Five young adults, three of which under 18, are to go on trial accused of assault and homicide of three homeless people in southern Russia. The alleged attacks were part of a game in which the teens acted as policemen.

The federal court of Samara has initiated hearings into the criminal case against a group of teenagers who attacked homeless people while imitating police raids. The young people are suspected to have participated in two similar incidents resulting in three deaths.

According to the materials of the case, on November 4, 2008, two homeless persons were taken to hospital unconscious with multiple injuries. Both died soon after being admitted. In April 2009, another body of a homeless person was found in a residential house in Samara. From the post mortem, it was clear that the person had met a violent death. Soon after, police detained a group of teenagers suspected of the crime.

Prosecutors accuse the suspects of breaking into the basement of a residential house harboring a group of homeless people and crying “Police! Lie down!”, and then assaulting them. One person died at the scene as a result of the violence.

During the preliminary investigation it was established that all the suspects were under the influence of alcohol before going on their “clean-up operations” against the homeless. They used to raid the basements of houses and other places offering shelter at night.