'Russian Romeo' steals girlfriend from psych ward, sues mother for forced hospitalization.
A young man shot his way out of a Moscow mental institution in a bid to 'rescue' his pregnant girlfriend. The pair turned themselves in on the second day of a police search – both to confess, and to sue the girl's mother.
The assault, they claimed, was a desperate move to free the woman from the horrors of the mental ward and the imposed effects of heavy medication. They claimed the hospitalization was forced, and orchestrated by the woman's mother. The couple has already been dubbed the 'Russian Romeo and Juliet,' and their story is being closely watched by a fascinated public.
It began on February 12, when three men broke into a Moscow psychiatric hospital and 'kidnapped' 32 year-old Anna Pavlenkova. They fired into the air with kinetic guns and used pepper spray against the guard as he tried to stop them. The attackers retreated into a Nissan and took off, taking the girl with them. The police failed to find them for two days, before both Anna and her rescuer-boyfriend came out to tell their story, accompanied by a lawyer.
After the initial shock, their story earned a lot of public sympathy. Anton Butyrin, the 26-year-old Romeo, said the only reason his girlfriend was institutionalized was because her mother hates him. In an interview with Lifenews, Anton said that "Anna's family is inadequate and they wanted her hidden in a mental hospital. But Anna wants to be with me and I want to be with her."