According to Natalia Vodianova's Facebook post, her sister Oksana, who suffers from autism and cerebral palsy, was walking with her carer in the Avtozavodskiy park in Vodianova's home city Nizhny Novgorod.
The weather was hot and the disabled girl soon got thirsty. Oksana's carer decided to make a stop at the park's Flamingo café and ordered tea and chocolate for the girl. Embarrassingly, the poor girl and her nanny were treated as unwelcomed guests.
The café owner came up to them accompanied by a security guard and rudely demanded that they should leave. "Get out of here, you are frightening our customers," he told Oksana and her carer, threatening to call a "psychiatric unit." The café's sole customer who was at the scene asked the owner to leave the disabled girl alone, however, Flamingo's owner turned a deaf ear to the man's plea.
The shameful incident rightly prompted a wave of outrage among everyday Russians. Russia's Investigative Committee has launched a case charging the café owner with violation of human dignity with the threat of physical menace. In accordance with Russia's Criminal Code the café owner may face a five-year prison term.
Deputy Governor of Nizhegorodskiy Region Dmitri Svatkovskiy, politician, pentathlete and Olympic champion, said the city's government was shocked by the incident. Svatkovskiy said that a week ago the region's authorities conducted a tour for children with mental disorders to the upcoming World Cup 2018 site in Nizhny Novgorod. He said he was touched by warmth and compassion displayed toward the disabled children.
The deputy governor bemoaned the fact that there are still some people who behave just like the notorious Flamingo café owner, stressing that the disgusting incident will not remain unpunished.
There are about 9,000 disabled children in Nizhegorodskiy Region, most of them live in families.
In a statement published on Russia's Investigative Committee official website the committee spokesman Vladimir Markin slammed the Flamingo owner and the café security for selfishness, greed and inhumanity. According to Markin, a rush for profits makes people blind to the suffering of others. He stressed that all responsible for the crime will be punished, adding that this case is sending a clear signal that no one is above the law.