Prankster is jailed for two years for faking ‘coronavirus seizure’ on Russian metro, sparking a passenger stampede
A prankster has been jailed for two years for faking a coronavirus seizure on the Russian metro and sparking a passenger stampede.
Karomatullo Dzhaborov, 26, was filmed falling down and appearing to suffer a seizure on a train in the Russian capital in February 2020.
In the video, passengers initially rush to help him but scramble away to escape the carriage as he begins to twitch and voices are heard shouting that the man has coronavirus.
He was sentenced to two years and four months in a penal colony for the stunt.
Two accomplices, Stanislav Melikhov and Artur Isachenko, were also given two-year terms but they were suspended for three years.
Russian prankster Karomatullo Dzhaborov (right) was arrested after faking a coronavirus seizure on the Moscow metro in February 2020
Karomatullo Dzhaborov, 26, was filmed falling down and appearing to suffer a seizure on a train in the Russian capital in February 2020
Dzhaborov’s lawyer Aleksey Popov claimed his client’s prank was intended to raise awareness of Covid-19.
He said: ‘He has a bunch of videos on different topics that are important for our society.
‘His goal was to turn people’s attention to the fact that people need to wear masks and protect themselves from a dangerous virus.’
Dzhaborov could be released in three weeks if judges allow his time spent in pre-trial detention to count towards his sentence.
Video uploaded to a prank site showed Dzhaborov collapsing on the floor of the train as people rush to help him, before they turn and flee as he begins seizing
As people rush to help, two voices – believed to be Dzhaborov’s accomplices – begin shouting about coronavirus, causing passengers to panic
Popov said this would only happen if the prosecutor’s office and the metro administration did not appeal the verdict.
Footage of the incident was posted on a prank site on February 2, but was later deleted. It is unclear when exactly it was filmed.
Police subsequently issued an arrest warrant for the perpetrator and Dzhaborov was arrested on February 3.
He was detained on suspicion of criminal hooliganism, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in jail and a fine of 500,000 rubles (£6,000).
Lawyer Popov said at the time his client handed himself over to police after a warrant was issued, and never expected the situation to get so out of hand.
Dzhaborov was detained on suspicion of criminal hooliganism, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in jail and a fine of 500,000 rubles (£6,000), on February 3, 2020