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Preschool Intruder Stabs Cook And Police

A Siberian man took a female cook hostage and stabbed her and several police officers early Wednesday after gaining access to a deserted kindergarten in central Moscow by convincing the sole security guard that he was thirsty.

The attack is the latest in a series of incidents that have raised questions about the ability of private security guards to secure safety.

The guard at the privately owned kindergarten, Raduga, located at 50 Frunzenskaya Naberezhnaya, let the stranger onto the premises at about 1 a.m. when the man said he needed a drink of water, Investigative Committee spokesman Maxim Koryakin said.

The visitor, Irkutsk resident Sergei Bychkov, was fleeing from police after stabbing a taxi driver at about 9:30 p.m. Tuesday near 10 Ulitsa Khamovnichesky Val, about 200 meters away, because he did not want to pay the taxi fare, Koryakin said.

Koryakin did not give Bychkov's age or profession. said he was 58.

The guard could not detain Bychkov because he had no legal right to do so, but he called the police, Raduga head Anna Korolyova said.

Police stormed the kindergarten and detained Bychkov at about 3 a.m., after two hours of unsuccessful talks, Koryakin said.

During the negotiations, Bychkov took a cook as hostage and stabbed her in the shoulder and arm. The extent of her injuries was unclear.

Bychkov told that he took the hostage because he wanted the guard to give him a gun to commit suicide.

Bychkov locked himself with the 30-year-old cook in the bathroom, the report said.

Bychkov also attacked the acting captain of the Khamovniki police precinct, who took part in his detention, the Investigative Committee said in a statement, without identifying the official or the nature of his injuries.

A police source told RIA-Novosti that Bychkov bit the police captain and stabbed several other police officers, but without inflicting serious injuries.

The taxi driver was hospitalized.

A city police spokesman refused to comment on the incident.

Investigators have opened a criminal case against Bychkov, who has not been charged. A charge of attacking a police officer carries up to five years in prison, while attempted murder is punishable with up to 15 years in prison.

The work of private guards has been under the spotlight since guards at a Moscow supermarket failed to prevent police Major Denis Yevsyukov from going on a shooting rampage that killed two people and wounded six in April 2009.

Late last month, unidentified masked intruders tied up the sole security guard at a Moscow-based office belonging the Moscow regional branch of the Investigative Committee at night, rifling through 18 offices and cracking open 25 safes.

According to Interior Ministry statistics, private security guards only manage to fend off one out of every 20 attacks at most.

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