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Police Detains Russian Man Suspected of Punching Elderly Woman in the Face

Vladislav Konovalov

Police in the Samara region have detained a young man suspected of knocking down an elderly woman at a supermarket checkout line for no apparent reason, a news report said Monday.

The suspect was detained Sunday in the city of Syzran and has been identified as a local resident in his thirties, the Interior Ministry's press service said in a statement cited by state-run RIA Novosti news agency.

The violent attack reportedly occurred earlier this month in a Pyatyorochka supermarket and seemed to have come without warning or cause, according to video footage of the incident captured by the store's surveillance camera and posted online.

The footage shows a young man paying for his purchases at a cashier's stand, while a gray-haired woman waits in line behind him. Without exchanging any words, the man makes a sudden swing backwards and punches the woman straight in the face, sending her falling down to the floor.

After the blow, the man picks up his purchases and walks out, while the woman remains lying on the floor and bystanders come to her aid, the video shows.

“I didn't even see his face, didn't speak to him,” the elderly woman told police investigators, Bloknot news portal reported Sunday. “I regained consciousness, went home, and then went to a hospital – I had a bruise on my head, and a smashed lip.”

The woman has undergone surgery on her jaw and has been treated for a severe concussion, LifeNews portal reported.

The suspected attacker has no prior criminal record, the Interior Ministry said according to the RIA Novosti report.

LifeNews, which is believed to enjoy close ties with Russia's law-enforcement agencies,  reported earlier that the suspect had a history of violence and had allegedly broken his mother-in-law's rib in a previous attack that prompted his wife to divorce him.

The LifeNews report put the suspect's age at 27, and it was not immediately clear whether the report was referring to the same man as the person referred to in the Interior Ministry statement.

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