Cat attack: Moscow man faces five years in jail

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Image caption The cat was said to have scratched the police officer's face after being thrown (stock photo)

A man is facing up to five years in prison in Moscow for allegedly using a cat as a weapon to attack a police officer, Russian media report.

The suspect, named as Gennady Shcherbakov, reportedly shook and threw the feline when approached by police at an apartment block in the city.

The officer, who was responding to noise complaints from residents, was "seriously scratched" in his face.

Mr Shcherbakov, 59, is facing criminal charges of violence against police.

The case was opened on Wednesday, more than a year after the incident took place, Telegram channel Baza reported.

What is alleged to have happened?

According to Russian broadcaster Ren TV, on 4 October 2018 Mr Shcherbakov was sitting at the foot of a stairwell in a residential building in the Russian capital of Moscow.

He had allegedly been drinking heavily.

Residents reported a disturbance, but when a police officer entered the property Mr Shcherbakov refused to co-operate or answer any questions, Ren TV reported.

Mr Shcherbakov is then accused of grabbing a nearby cat and launching it at the officer.

The animal reportedly clung to the officer's face, sinking its claws in.

Mr Shcherbakov, who is not a resident of the apartment block where the incident took place, denies using the cat as a weapon and has claimed that it jumped at the officer of its own will.

The case has been brought under Article 318 of the criminal code, which cites use of violence against a public official.

It is not clear why it has taken a year to open the criminal case, or what happened to the cat.

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