News
April 13 2012 - 00:04

Impatient Customer Destroys Dealership Showroom

You've heard about road rage. But what about pre-road rage?

A 41-year-old gynecologist faces up to five years in prison for losing his cool after being asked to wait 20 minutes to pick up his car following repairs at a Nissan dealership in northern Moscow.

The gynecologist, Mikhail Kustov, drove into the showroom and started ramming into cars, causing tens of thousands of dollars in damages during a chaotic three minutes captured by the Pelican-Auto dealership's surveillance cameras.

Kustov, a father of two, arrived nine minutes early for a 3:30 p.m. appointment last Saturday at the dealership on 107-A Dmitrovskoye Shosse, where he intended to pick up a Nissan Navara after repairs, Pelican-Auto said.

After informing dealership staff about his arrival, Kustov, a regular customer, sat for a few minutes on a couch and later smoked outside as he waited. He had just gotten off work and was eager to drive his children to the family dacha outside Moscow, news reports said.

But after learning at 3:52 p.m. that his car still was not ready, he stormed out of the dealership and got into his Suzuki Grand Vitara parked near the three-story building, according to a detailed account of the incident provided by Pelican-Auto on its website.

A few minutes later, Kustov plowed his car into the front of the showroom and began sideswiping the parked vehicles on display, according to the video of the incident.

A black uniformed security guard is seen cautiously approaching the moving car and tapping on a window before jumping out of the way to avoid getting hit in the mayhem.

Kustov finally crashed the rumpled hood of his car into a cashiers' counter and the car stalled. Security guards quickly descended on the car, and one of them, wielding a shiny pole from a plate-glass window that once stretched above the cashiers' counter, broke the driver's side window.

Nobody was injured in the incident.

Pelican-Auto expressed shock at what had happened and said it wanted Kustov to be charged to the fullest extent of the law.

"There is no logical explanation for these kinds of actions," it said in a statement. "Kustov not only caused major damage to the company but could have inflicted serious bodily harm or posed a threat to the lives of the people who were in the showroom."

The dealership also voiced doubt that the 20-minute wait was the main cause of the meltdown. "Let further conclusions be made by the police, prosecutors, the courts and, possibly, psychiatrists," it said.

According to preliminary estimates, Kustov caused total damages of more than 1 million rubles ($34,000), police said in a statement. It said Kustov, whom police declared sober at the scene, faces charges of intentionally destroying property.

Kustov has not commented publicly on the incident.

Pelican-Auto, meanwhile, is facing a possible backlash, with skeptics accusing it of trying to cash in on what happened, NTV television reported Wednesday night. The dealership is accused of promoting its surveillance videos in hope that by going viral they will attract new customers and cover the costs of the dented cars and broken showroom windows.

But Pelican-Auto suggested that it was performing a public service by being open and upfront about the matter. "We decided to provide full information about the incident — with a chronology of the events and the video footage shot by surveillance cameras inside the showroom and on the street — to avoid any rumors or speculation about the facts of what occurred in our showroom on April 7, 2012," it said.

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