Tattooist Accused of Inciting Pit Bull Attack on Couple and Their Son, Judge Refuses Bail

| by Denise A Justin

A Victoria tattooist is accused of inciting his two dogs – described as Pit Bulls – to attack a man and his wife and son in a Springvale street. He has been refused bail.

Alex Ivaschenko, 38, is also alleged to have personally assaulted the victims. The husband, wife and their son are still hospitalized with serious wounds and injuries, according to The Age.

According to Detective Hannah Thompson, the series of attacks began about 10:30 p.m. on Monday, when Ivaschenko’s dogs first attacked the mother's Maltese dog as they were each walking their dogs.

The detective said that the woman ran to the nearby restaurant her family owns and alerted her husband and son. The younger man ran out and found Ivaschenko trying to stop one of his dogs from attacking the Maltese.

The son finally managed to free his mother’s small dog and put the bleeding animal in his car. He asked Ivaschenko for his name and information in order to contact him about veterinary bills. Ivaschenko allegedly told the son to "f--- off" and grabbed him by the back of the neck.

Detective Thompson said both parents ran out of the restaurant to help their son, but Ivaschenko knocked the son to the ground, causing the mother to trip and fall. As Ivaschenko began choking the young man, his dogs mauled the mother's face.

A Melbourne court heard on Tuesday that Alex Ivaschenko encouraged the dogs to attack by saying: "Yeah, good dog, good boy, do it for daddy."

It was alleged he then encouraged his dogs to continue the attack and, after her son was finally able to help his mother into the restaurant, Ivaschenko punched her husband and "set his dogs on him." Ivaschenko then walked away but returned and kicked and punched the man again before the victims were taken by ambulance to hospital, she said.

Detective Thompson responded to Ivaschenko's contested-bail application by telling the court that the woman had sustained serious lacerations to her cheek and body and a fractured lumbar. Additionally, her husband suffered a broken nose and lacerations to his left thigh. The son sustained injury to his right eye and bodily bruising.

Melbourne Magistrates Court heard that Mr Ivaschenko had mental health issues and alcohol problems. He did not oppose the destruction of the dogs which police had seized. He is charged with offenses that include intentionally causing serious injury and multiple assaults.

Prosecutor Guillaume Bailin opposed bail. He told Magistrate Duncan Reynolds that police had requested a forensic report on the accused.

Mr Ivaschenko, who was unrepresented in court after receiving initial advice from an attorney, said he "deeply regretted the incident.” He told the Magistrate that he had a successful tattoo business until "organized criminals" destroyed it by fire.

He said he felt "more and more alienated and helpless" with a lack of police interest after the fires. But he was "trying to turn my life around" with the prospect of medical help, programs and dealing with his alcohol problem.

Ivaschenko’s mother testified that she had previously helped him with money and food and that, if he were given bail, he could live with her away from the Springvale area. A friend told the court that hearing the allegations "seems like a different person than I know." He said that, if Alex Ivaschenko were given bail, he would have him do unpaid gardening.

Ivaschenko told the court, "I know the dogs have done the wrong thing." The judge replied that it was not the dogs that were at fault but the fact that he had allegedly encouraged them to attack. Ivaschenko allegedly replied, "This is going to be disputed".

In refusing bail, Magstrate Reynolds described the alleged attacks as "seriously disturbing" but had to be considered in context of the accused's mental-health issues.

He said Mr Ivaschenko could be released on bail only subject to court-mandated treatment and counseling conditions.

Could there be a stronger case for why the ownership of Pit Bulls should be legally restricted?

Source: The Age