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Russian deported after hunger strike resurfaces in Arizona

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Posted at 1:49 PM, Dec 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-20 15:49:02-05

PHOENIX (AP) - A Russian immigrant who was deported after staging a monthlong hunger strike this summer at an Arizona detention center resurfaced in the state a month ago when authorities said he was shot by a Border Patrol agent during a physical struggle near the border.

Evgenii Glushchenko, 37, was shot in one of his legs on Nov. 14 when the agent tried to arrest him after he was spotted walking north through the desert near Lukeville.

Officials say Glushchenko resisted the agent's attempt to handcuff him and pulled the officer's radio off his belt. They say Glushchenko then grabbed the agent's genitals, leading the officer to shoot Glushchenko, whose injuries weren't considered life-threatening.

Authorities publicized details of the shooting shortly after it occurred, but didn't release Glushchenko's name, which later emerged in court records.

Glushchenko is charged in federal court with illegally re-entering the United States and assaulting a federal officer. He hasn't yet entered a plea.

Authorities say Glushchenko sneaked back into the United States after he was deported in August.

Like his earlier arrest in Arizona, Glushchenko's health became an issue in his latest case.

Three court hearings in his latest case have been called off for unspecified issues related to his health, according to court records.

Prosecutors, the U.S. Marshals Service and Glushchenko's attorney, Jamiel Allen, declined a request from The Associated Press to specify Glushchenko's current health issues. They also declined to say whether he was staging another protest while in custody.

This summer, a judge authorized force-feeding for Glushchenko, noting that the detainee's 25% reduction in body weight could have led to permanent organ damage and possibly death.

Glushchenko offered two reasons for not eating - either he wasn't hungry or he won't eat until he is released from detention.

In his earlier arrest, his lawyers said in court records that Glushchenko and wife had fled from Russia to Mexico after receiving "repeated government death threats" because of his work with western charities and refusal to pay bribes to the Federal Security Service, a Russian intelligence agency.