A St. Petersburg man has been fired from his job as a metro security guard and charged with hooliganism after he drunkenly held up an innocent passenger on suspicion of being a terrorist for at a busy underground station.
The incident, which has gone public after CCTV footage of the 30-minute ‘arrest’ was posted online, occurred on December 12, when Aleksandr K, the guard, was returning from a friend’s birthday party on his day off.
One of the passengers informed Aleksandr, who had apparently been celebrating the occasion dressed in military camouflage gear and in possession of a pistol, that there was a “suspicious person on-board carrying a knife.”
Aleksandr readily admitted to local Channel 5 that he was “confused and lost track” of the “dangerous rider,” but nonetheless decided to act by carrying out an off-duty detention of “the man he thought looked most untrustworthy.”
The footage shows an evidently terrified dark-haired man in his twenties or younger kneeling on the platform with his hands raised in surrender, with a swaying, evidently drunk Aleksandr pushing a gun into the back of his head and muttering menacingly.
At various points through the silent recording, some passers-by inquire about the nature of the unfolding proceedings, but hundreds of other passengers can be seen getting on and off the trains, averting their gazes as they scurry past to avoid getting entangled.
Eventually, bona fide security forces arrived and arrested both men. They quickly determined that the ‘terrorist’ appeared to pose no danger, and arrested Aleksandr, who was carrying his personal – not his service – weapon, charging him with consumption of alcohol in prohibited places, and later, hooliganism.
After the video went viral, the city metro service dismissed the overly-eager employee, and instituted an audit of its security personnel.
“I was not sober. I feel guilty – this was a serious incident,” Aleksandr told 78.ru, a St.Petersburg news website. “Now I need to find a new job, and also to serve my debt to society.”
Aleksandr told the news outlet that he had previously arrested genuine criminals during office hours, and rescued several people who had fallen onto the tracks. He said he plans to meet with his victim to apologize in person.