Father is arrested for ‘throwing daughter, six, down flight of steps because she argued with brother, three, over who should get to push shopping trolley’ at Ukrainian mall
- Artem, 46, was quizzed by police after appearing to throw daughter down steps
- Video shows him leading six-year-old Anzhelika outside a supermarket in northern Ukraine before she tumbles down steps and on to a concrete floor
- Staff accused Artem of throwing the girl, but he claimed she slipped and fell
- Said he took her outside after she fought with her brother over shopping trolley
A Ukrainian father-of-four has been arrested after he appeared to throw his daughter down some supermarket steps because she had been arguing with her brother.
The man, named only as 46-year-old Artem, was quizzed by police after supermarket staff posted CCTV footage of the incident on Facebook, causing outrage.
The video shows him leading six-year-old Anzhelika outside a supermarket in Ukraine’s northern Rivne Oblast region.
Artem, 46, has been questioned by police in Ukraine after footage appeared to show him throwing his six-year-old daughter Anzhelika down some supermarket steps
CCTV footage taken outside the shop and posted online by staff shows Artem walking the little girl out the front of the shop before she plunges down the steps
Artem can be seen dragging the girl by the arm before she tumbles down the steps.
Shop workers accused Artem of throwing the girl down the stairs, but the father claims his daughter struggled free of his grip before falling on her own.
The moment was filmed by a CCTV camera installed at the entrance to the ‘Gurtovnya’ supermarket.
After falling down the steps, the girl can be seen lying on the floor looking shocked and upset as Artem goes back inside.
She then picks herself up and walks gingerly to the top of the steps before hesitating to follow him into the store.
Several passersby witness the incident, but none of them intervenes.
It is not clear from the footage whether the girl was injured, but local reports suggest she only received bruises.
Staff say Artem threw the girl down the stairs but he denies this, saying the girl struggled from his grip and fell on her own
The girl plunged down seven stone steps before landing on concrete, but walked away from the incident with nothing but bruises
Police spokeswoman Zoriana Melnyk said: ‘The video drew the attention of the police after being posted on Facebook. Thanks to the local residents the man was quickly identified.
‘The police visited the man’s family and his wife recognised him and their daughter in the video.’
Under questioning, Artem said his daughter and her younger three-year-old brother both wanted to push a shopping trolley at the supermarket and started to quarrel over who would do it.
Artem tried to calm his children down but failed and fell in a rage. After that, he grabbed his daughter and drugged her out of the supermarket.
He said: ‘I just wanted to take her aside but when we were on the porch she pulled her arm out and fell.’
Artem was charged with parental neglect and now is pending trial. Local social services are going to monitor the family and work with the parents.
Galyna Stonogova, Artem’s mother, says she cannot believe her son would intentionally harm his daughter and blamed the incident on ‘a little nervous breakdown’
Artem (pictured with his wife) is now facing up to a year of penal labour if convicted, and will be visited by social workers to check on his four children
Alla Ilyina, the head of Child Protective Service, said: ‘The girl will be registered as a child who experienced abuse from her parent and her living conditions are going to be monitored by social service workers.
‘We will also work with the parents to correct their attitude to their duties.’
Artem’s mother Galyna Stonogova says ‘he is a good father’, but ‘had a little nervous break down’.
She said: ‘His [Artem’s] wife was in hospital for a week and he had to deal with four little children on his own.
‘I do not say that he was right but I think he did it because of tiredness and exhaustion.
‘He is a good father but everybody can have a little nervous breakdown.’
Galyna Babik, a woman next door, said: ‘I have often seen him playing with his children. I could not believe he had done such a thing until I saw the video.’
Oleksy Dvoretsky, a local resident, said: ‘Nobody here could believe that a father is capable to do something like that to his own child. Everybody is shocked.’
Her father faces up to one year of penal labour if found guilty.