Police in Russia shoved a man into a van and forced him to abandon his dog in a park for violating the city's lockdown order

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Police in Moscow reportedly forced a man to abandon his dog in a park after he violated a lockdown order.

Patriarshi/Twitter

  • Iisus Vorobyov said he was arrested by police for walking his dog in a park nearby his home in Moscow, Russia.
  • Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin had ordered all parks closed as part of a lockdown order meant to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus.
  • Vorobyov told a Russian news outlet that there were construction workers in the park when he was arrested.
  • He said his dog, who police forced him to abandon, was able to find its own way home.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

A man in Russia was arrested by police in Moscow, Russia for walking his dog in a park nearby his home after police accused him of violating the city's lockdown order, which closed parks in order to stem the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

The incident occurred on April 4 at Patriarch Ponds, a small park near the center of Moscow, Russia, the man Iisus Vorobyov told Meduza, a Russian-language news outlet. 

On March 28, the city's mayor Sergei Sobyanin put the city on a strict lockdown order that only permits people to leave their homes to retrieve food, essential medical supplies, or walk their pets. The mayor said police would provide special documentation that would allow people who needed to work the ability to freely leave their homes, according to CNN.

Vorobyov told Meduza he was walking his dog, Plato, in Patriarch's Ponds when two police officers called him over to question him about why he was in the closed park. Vorobyov said he saw construction workers building a restaurant in the park, and wondered why they were allowed in the park while he was not. 

Vorobyov said he was not in the park for a long time and only takes his dog on walks for around 20 minutes. He told Meduza it takes him about five minutes to walk from one end of the park to the other. Vorobyov claimed police had inaccuracies in their report about whether they used force to apprehend him. 

In a statement, Moscow Police said they warned Vorobyov he was in violation of the lockdown order several times before they arrested him, according to RadioFreeEurope.

Vorobyov said when the man began to drag him away, he asked if he could take his dog back to his home, which he said was around 100 meters (about 328 feet) away from the park. He said the officers did not respond to his request before they "twisted" his arms behind his back and "dragged" him into a van, and took him to a police station.

"They behaved like SS men in the occupied territory," he told Meduza, according to a version of the story translated by Google.

The dog was able to find its way home, he said. 

"He is a smart dog," Vorobyov said.

A video posted to Twitter that depicts the incident shows two men grabbing on to both of Vorobyov's arms while his dog runs around the inside of a fence in the park. Eventually, the two officers yank and push the man into the back of the van while the dog is left outside, alone in the park, looking at the van.

Vorobyov told Meduza that despite the order and incident, he would continue to walk his dog near the pond and city hall because he said the location was not on a government list of closed spaces.

Vladimir Burmatov, a member of the lower house of parliament representing the pro-Kremlin United Russia party, asked prosecutors to investigate whether police overstepped their authority during the April 4 incident, RadioFreeEurope reported.

The order, announced March 26 according to CNN, involved the closure of all restaurants, cafes, bars, shops, and parks in the city until at least April 5 as part of Russian President Vladimir Putin's "stay at home holiday." On April 2, the Moscow mayor signed a law that imposed fines on those who violated his city's stay at home order.

"The restrictions introduced today are unprecedented in the modern history of Moscow and will create many inconveniences for the everyday life of every person," Sobyanin said March 26. "But believe me, they are absolutely necessary in order to slow the spread of coronavirus infection and reduce the number of cases."

Similar measures have been placed in all but nine states across the US. In New York City, for example, Mayor Bill de Blasio warned people who violated the state's "PAUSE" order would be subject to fines of up to $500. The New York order, however, only prohibits congregating in groups and does to close parks or forbid people from leaving their homes.

Police officers in Brooklyn, New York arrested three people over last week after they were found to be in violation of the state's social distancing orders, according to The Intercept

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