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9 Mar, 2010 15:27

Motorist attacks Russian traffic police in Youtube video

A Russian man has posted a video on Youtube accusing traffic policemen of illegally using his acquaintance’s car to block the road in an attempt to stop a speeding vehicle.

The man, who identified himself as Stanislav Sutyagin, said that on March 5, traffic policemen stopped a Mercedes car in which he was a passenger and told the driver to remain on the road, making a road block together with several more vehicles. This was done to stop and detain a speeding car that appeared several minutes later. The violator, however, did not stop, but rammed through the improvised barricade and successfully escaped.

Sutyagin said that policemen explained that the incident was a special operation and refused to pay for the damaged car. He also said that one of the other cars used in the road block was carrying a woman in labor to a maternity ward.

The video quickly spread through blogosphere and attracted the attention of first the Internet media and then conventional journalists. Traffic police have neither confirmed nor refuted the news, saying they learned about it from the media.

Speaking on Echo Moskvy radio on Tuesday, Sutyagin said he planned to address the prosecutor’s office with a complaint. He also promised that another man who was involved in the incident would follow suit.

Later in the evening Russian Channel 1 television showed a footage of traffic police officials admitting that the March 5 incident really took place and promising to find and punish all those responsible for it.

On March 10, Russia's investigative committee launched a preliminary inquiry into the incident, and the State Duma wrote a letter to the minister of Interior, Rashid Nurgaliev, demanding clarification.

“Without a doubt, this was a breach of the regulations by the road police. When the investigation is complete, the department heads may be found administratively accountable while the policemen may face dismissal,” Gennady Yakubaev, spokesperson of the Road Police Department, told RT.

The head of the Moscow traffic police said that he will personally oversee that those whose cars were damage will receive compensation.