Bail set at $50,000 for man accused of beating girl

Casey Grove
Byron Syvinski is arraigned in front of Judge Catherine Easter in the Anchorage Jail Courtroom on Friday on charges he assaulted and robbed a young girl.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Angeline Delreal, a neighbor whose husband, police say, was hit by Syvinski, speaks with reporters after the arraignment.
Bob Hallinen

A man accused of punching a 7-year-old girl multiple times in the head Sunday in Midtown remained in jail after his arraignment Friday in Anchorage Jail Court.

A judge set bail for Byron Syvinski at $50,000 and required that he be under 24-hour observation by a court-approved third party.

Syvinski, 32, faces one count each of third- and fourth-degree assault and one count of first-degree robbery. He did not enter a plea Friday, and Judge Catherine Easter assigned his case to a public defender.

Easter also ordered Syvinski not to return to the Eide Street neighborhood where police and witnesses say he attacked two of his neighbors, including young Am-Marie Martin.

Police wrote in court papers that Syvinski -- who stands 6 feet tall and weighs 240 pounds -- first tried to take a bag from a neighborhood boy, then punched the boy's father when he intervened. Police said the boy hit Syvinski with a metal pole, but that didn't stop him.

Syvinski then walked down the street and ordered Martin to get off her bike, police said. When she didn't, he punched her once, then twice more after she fell to the ground, police said.

Neighbors surrounded Syvinski, who police say was acting delirious when two officers arrived and arrested him. Syvinski had a cast on his broken left arm and the arm was infected, police said. He was taken to a hospital after the incident.

Officers arrested Syvinski on Thursday after he was released from the hospital.

Martin was still at Providence Alaska Medical Center on Friday for continued treatment, said her mother, Andrea Dunwoody, just after the arraignment. The girl suffered a concussion and brain hemorrhage from Syvinski's pounding, police said.

Martin wasn't eating solid food and depended on an intravenous line for nutrients, Dunwoody said.

"She's traumatized. She's depressed. She's angry. She's upset. All of the above," Dunwoody told reporters outside the jail. "He took away my daughter. She's not the same."

The girl has refused to allow male nurses into her hospital room and she also didn't trust the male doctor treating her, Dunwoody said.

"She wants to know why she's there. I can't tell her," Dunwoody said.

Still, small gifts and letters -- some from complete strangers -- had raised Am-Marie's spirits, her mother said.

In the meantime, Dunwoody is wondering why Syvinski was loose on Anchorage's streets the day of the attack.

Syvinski had called police four times seeking help the day before the attacks, police said. He was taken into protective custody -- either to jail or a hospital but police won't say -- and was back out by Sunday afternoon, when the violence began.

His criminal record, which includes previous assaults and a felony gun theft conviction, indicates repeated drug use, according to court records.

Dunwoody said the Alaska justice system failed to address Syvinski's many problems.

"He should've gotten the help he asked for," she said.

Reach Casey Grove at or 257-4589.