Man accused of beating girl released from hospital, arrested

Casey Grove

Anchorage police on Thursday arrested a man accused of punching a young girl multiple times in the head days earlier in an apparent random act of violence, police said.

Prior to the arrest, Byron Syvinski had been at a local hospital since the Sunday afternoon incident.

Syvinski was acting "delirious" when officers took him into custody in the middle of Eide Street just after the attack, police said. The beating sent 7-year-old Am-Marie Martin to a local hospital with a concussion and brain hemorrhage.

Syvinski, 32, also was hospitalized. Police say he had a broken arm that had become infected. Syvinski had lived on the street for more than six years, neighbors said.

He called police four times on Saturday to ask for some kind of help, police said. As a result, Syvinski was temporarily taken into protective custody -- which can mean he went to jail or the hospital, police said.

Citing the ongoing criminal case, a police spokeswoman declined to say when exactly Syvinski was released or where he was taken for self-protection. He was back home by Sunday afternoon when the violence began.

Syvinski became hostile with neighbors at about 4:40 p.m., police said.

Witnesses told the Daily News that Syvinski -- whose criminal record indicates repeated drug abuse dating back to 1999-- was acting high or crazy. He tried to take a boy's bag and punched the boy's father in the face, police said. The boy then smacked Syvinski in the head with a nearby pole, an officer wrote in court documents.

Syvinski walked down the street, where he saw Am-Marie on her bicycle. The 6-foot tall, 240-pound man told the girl to give him the bike. When she didn't comply, he punched her, police said.

Am-Marie fell to the ground and Syvinski punched her twice more, police said. Witnesses watched as neighbors surrounded Syvinski. Two police officers soon arrived.

Syvinski refused to cooperate with officers, who subsequently restrained his hands and feet, police wrote in court papers.

Am-Marie remained in the hospital Thursday, her mother, Andrea Dunwoody, said. Doctors recently moved the girl out of the Intensive Care Unit and she is continuing to recover, Dunwoody said.

"This is far from over for him, but this will never be over for my daughter," she said.

Police arrested Syvinski and questioned him Thursday after he was discharged from the hospital.

When a suspect needs medical help, police often wait until after he or she is treated before making an arrest to avoid paying the medical bills.

Security guards were posted at the door of Syvinski's hospital room from Sunday until Thursday to make sure he didn't "wander off," police spokeswoman Anita Shell said.

Syvinski faces one count of third-degree assault, one count of fourth-degree assault and one count of first-degree robbery.

Dunwoody said the attack on her daughter should have resulted in harsher charges.

"He saw my daughter in her safe zone and decided to go after an innocent," Dunwoody said, her voice faltering. "He should get more than that."

Syvinski is scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon.

Reach Casey Grove at or 257-4589.