Russian priest assaults women in road rage

September 6th, 2012 - 6:54 am ICT by IANS  

Moscow, Sep 6 (IANS/RIA Novosti) A Russian Orthodox priest assaulted two women pensioners in a road rage in St. Petersburg, police said.

“I didn’t expect he would hit me. The force of his blow sent me reeling,” Valentina Pavlova, 60, told the Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper.

Pavlova said she was forced to brake sharply after a vehicle cut her up. She went to talk with the driver of the vehicle, who turned out to be 34-year-old priest Sergei Frunza.

She said he punched both her and her sister during the ensuing row.

“Go ahead, call the police, nothing will happen to me!” the priest shouted, Pavlova told the newspaper.

The priest has been suspended from his duties, church officials said.

Police have confirmed the incident took place and a probe is underway.

Frunza refused to comment on the incident.

Many road-related scandals have hit Russia’s powerful Orthodox Church in the past.

A 26-year-old priest is under investigation after a traffic accident in Moscow killed two people last month.

A monk driving a luxury Mercedes G-Wagen crashed into road works, killing two workers and injuring another. The monk fled the scene of the crash on foot.

An abbot of a Moscow church was accused of being drunk after a Maltese diplomatic vehicle he was driving ploughed into another car in July.

Witnesses said the abbot’s eyes were “glazed and crazy” after the crash, but the abbot refused to take a breathalyzer test. His lawyer later claimed he had been “taking medicine” which could have accounted for his appearance.

–IANS/RIA Novosti

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