A 15-year-old boy caught stealing a woman's purse died after being viciously beaten by a St. Petersburg police officer, Interfax reported Monday.
Police officers spotted the teenager robbing a 45-year-old woman in the Nevsky district of St. Petersburg early Sunday morning, Itar-Tass reported. The police pursued the suspect and "applied physical force" to prevent him from fleeing.
Subsequently, police took the boy to the regional police station for questioning and, upon arrival, beat him with their fists and a mop handle, the Investigative Committee said.
An ambulance was called to treat the boy's injuries and he died en route to the hospital.
Officer Denis Ivanov of the Nevsky district police was arrested Monday in connection with the crime, according to a statement on the committee's website. Ivanov could not explain why he attacked the boy, the statement said.
The head of the Nevsky district police was sacked Monday by St. Petersburg police chief Mikhail Sukhodolsky, Interfax reported.
"There is no control in that department," Sukhodolsky said, Interfax reported.