City police have begun a sweeping inspection of Moscow's open-air markets after a policeman was severely beaten by a large group of people while trying to detain a suspect.
In the first of a series of citywide inspections ordered by police chief Anatoly Yakunin, police have cordoned off Matveyevsky Market, where the attack took place, and are checking all merchants' documents, including trade licenses, migration documents and documentation of merchandise, Lenta.ru reported Monday.
The police are accompanied by members of OMON, Russia's riot police. By midafternoon Monday, 300 people had been detained at the market, with one violent incident resulting in the knife-wielding merchant being detained.
The incident that prompted the inspections happened Saturday, when policeman Anton Kudryashov attempted to detain a suspect in the rape of an underage girl. The parents of the suspect, 18-year-old Magomed Magomedov, were trying to pull their son away when, according to Kudryashov, he was assaulted by several women and then struck over the head, the Investigative Committee said in a statement.
According to RIA Novosti, a crowd of 20 to 25 people then attacked the policeman.
Kudryashov's injuries were so severe that he will have to have a metal plate implanted in his skull. In light of that fact, a criminal case has been opened on charges of making an attempt on the life of a member of law enforcement. The charge carries a maximum punishment of life in prison.
One suspect, Khalimat Rasulova, is currently in custody and will soon be charged, with the evidence against her including the testimony of eyewitnesses and a video of the incident. She has declined to testify.
The male assailant who first struck the policeman is still at large. Investigators are currently studying videos of the incident to determine who else was involved.
Magomedov has been detained and after initially denying the charges of rape, admitted guilt to investigators, RIA Novosti reported.