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Police Chief Drives Into Reporter

The Primorye region's traffic police chief found himself in hot water Tuesday after he was shown on state television attempting to run over a reporter in his private car.

The footage, aired by the "Vesti-Dezhurnaya Chast" program on the Rossia 1 television Monday, shows local journalist Pavel Brykin attempting to corner police chief Alexander Lysenko at his garage in Vladivostok's outskirts.

Lysenko, who is wearing civilian clothes and sunglasses, ignores Brykin's questions as he locks the garage and gets behind the wheel of a luxury right-hand-drive car. The film, spread widely by online media Tuesday, then shows Brykin being hit by the car's bumper as he tries to stop it.

"What are you doing — you are violating the traffic rules!" the journalist shouts while stooping over the car's hood.

The incident provides further embarrassment for Lysenko, who was accused in a video released online in June of beating a driver participating in an illegal night race in Vladivostok. Prosecutors opened a criminal case into the claim, later closed it but then reopened it Monday, Interfax reported.

Yelena Ivanova, a spokeswoman for the region's traffic police, said Tuesday that Lysenko currently was on vacation and the police saw no reason to act. "At the moment he has no connection with the traffic police," she told Interfax, adding that the reporter had not filed a complaint.

The federal traffic police defended Lysenko and accused the reporter of being obstinate.

"We watched the video. It is clear that the journalist was excessively persistent. … Of course, [Lysenko] never intended to run [him] over," an unidentified federal traffic police official in Moscow told Interfax.

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