(Source: RIA Novosti / Moscow News)

Local police have asked a Moscow court to free an Uzbek migrant accused of attacking a 12-year-old boy, the Interior Ministry’s Moscow branch press service told RIA Novosti Thursday.

The request represents the latest turn in a peculiar case that has challenged the common notions of Russian disdain toward migrant workers from poor former Soviet republics.

Thirty-five-year-old street sweeper Bakhrom Khurramov was arrested in southwestern Moscow earlier this week on suspicion of attacking Artyom Khoteev on January 6 with a broken shovel handle and leaving the boy with a concussion and broken jaw after Khoteyev and several friends allegedly threw a snowball at Hurramov.

After Khurramov’s arrest, however, residents of the neighborhood in which he works penned a joint letter in support of the street sweeper, claiming the children provoked the conflict. In the letter, carried by various Russian media, residents also praised Khurramov’s character and work ethic.

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