Two Ashdod police officers were indicted Thursday for attacking and kidnapping a man, a resident of the city, because he “talked back” to them.
The two policemen took the alleged victim, Andrey Ignatov, into custody for no apparent reason, beat him and threatened him, according to the indictment filed by the police’s Internal Affairs Division, which was based on a surreptitious recording Ignatov made of the exchange. The two were also charged with misuse of police powers.
The incident began when, earlier this month, one of the officers was involved in a verbal altercation with Ignatov while the latter was with his friends in the center of the city. The officer then called his partner, who arrived with another policeman and two volunteers. The five conducted physical searches on Ignatov and his friends but did not find anything.
Ignatov was then instructed to get into the police car without being given an explanation, the indictment read.
Once in the car, the two officers began physically attacking him while driving to a nearby cemetery.
“I want to talk to you… near the cemetery where there are no cameras,” one of them said, adding that he believed Ignatov would complain that he was hit in any case, so he’d “give him a reason to do so,” Channel 2 reported. Once at the cemetery, Ignatov said he was hit with a baton several times before being taken to the police station.
In the recording of the exchange, an excerpt of which was aired Thursday by the news channel, the officers can be heard telling Ignatov that they will come to his house, conduct searches and generally harass him.
“We’ll start coming by your house for [impromptu] searches, drugs, all kinds of things like that,” one of the officers can be heard saying, to which Ignatov responds, “I don’t do drugs.”
“Doesn’t matter. We’ll come by your house, harass you,” the officer shoots back.
Ignatov then says the officers are welcome at his house.
“We’ll mess up your house a bit. Your mom won’t like that,” one of the officers promises.
Ignatov was released thereafter by the two with the warning that they hoped he had “learned [his] lesson.”
A police source told Channel 2 that the incident started when Ignatov mocked one of the officers.