MOSCOW, May 8 (RIA Novosti) – Moscow police apprehended a murder suspect with alleged mafia connections on Wednesday evening who had escaped from the Matrosskaya Tishina pretrial detention facility on Tuesday, the Interior Ministry said.
Oleg Topalov, 33, was detained in Moscow’s Izmailovo park by two police officers together with a police dog.
“He did not try to run away, since his leg is injured,” a ministry representative told RIA Novosti.
The dog that helped detain the runaway will be given a bonus, Alexander Pastushkov, head of the Interior Ministry’s Dog Handling Center, said.
The canine, a female Alsatian named Ert, will be issued an extra-large premium-grade bag of dry food, he said.
Each police officer will receive a premium of 100,000 rubles (about $3,000) for catching “an especially dangerous criminal,” the ministry said.
Topalov escaped by making a hole in the ceiling and climbing through an air vent, the Federal Prisons Service said on Tuesday.
Media reports said he had escaped through the air vent and then walked across the premises, climbing over the outer wall using a rope made of bedsheets.
The Sochi native was arrested in 2011 on murder charges. Police sources cited by Lifenews.ru tabloid claimed Topalov was a hitman working for Aslan “Gramps Khasan” Usoyan, a notorious mafia boss who was killed in January in a shooting blamed on a criminal turf war.
Matrosskaya Tishina, which opened in 1945, has housed a number of prominent inmates, including former Yukos head Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Hermitage Capital lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who spent months there and was transferred to another facility shortly before his prison death in 2009.
Only two successful jailbreaks have previously been reported from Matrosskaya Tishina, both by alleged murderers. One of them was alleged mafia hitman Alexander Solonik in 1995, who was linked by media to the same Kurgan gang as Topalov.