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Hockey Players Charged With Assaulting Police

Two hockey players could face 10 years in prison after being charged with attacking two police officers at a restaurant in the republic of Tatarstan.

Artyom Lukoyanov, 24, who plays in the KHL for Ak Bars of Kazan, and Maxim Gruzdev of local club Neftyanik were arrested on Sunday night in Almetyevsk.

The police officers were called to the restaurant by staff who were concerned by the behavior of some of the patrons, the local police department told Lenta.ru.

The policemen found Lukoyanov "in a drunken state" and told him to leave, Interfax reported.

Investigators said that Lukoyanov then punched one of the officers in the head, at which point Gruzdev appeared and attacked the second police officer, who fired two warning shots into the air.

Lukoyanov and Gruzdev were then subdued and taken to the local police station.

One of the officers sustained a neck injury and the other was hospitalized with a concussion.

Neftyanik player Rustam Shangarayev, who says he was in the restaurant at the time of the incident, said that Lukoyanov did not attack the policeman and even allowed himself to be detained peacefully, business-gazeta.ru reported.

Lukoyanov was drafted to Ak Bars in 2011 after establishing himself as the best goal scorer in the second tier of Russian hockey.

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