2016-02-10 / Front Page

Drunken Teen Bashes Dad To Death

By Liz Goff
An Auburndale teenager is facing 25-years in prison for clubbing his father to death during a drunken family brawl, authorities said.

 Demetrios Safetis, 19, was charged with manslaughter, assault and criminal possession of a weapon after he fatally bashed his father in the head with a “Club” steering wheel lock, police said.

Cops said the deadly domestic encounter started when Safetis and his 16-year-old brothers showed up at the Auburndale home of their father’s ex-wife on February 5, where they partied with the woman’s 20-year-old son.

When the party turned into a drunken brawl the woman called Joannis Safetis, 57, and told him, “Your sons are over here and they’re drunk and fighting,” a law enforcement source said.

A police source said Safetis was angry that his sons continued to visit his ex-wife following their divorce. “He really didn’t want the boys to have anything to do with her or her son,” the source said.

The already angry father jumped in his car and headed to the woman’s home on Utopia Parkway near 47th Avenue, where he threatened her, her son and his sons, the source said. “The boys were drunken and belligerent when Joannis arrived at the home,” the source said.

 The brawl turned deadly when the elder Safetis retrieved the steering wheel lock from his car and threatened Demetrios with the steel bar, a law enforcement source said. The teen wrestled the lock from his father and allegedly bashed it into Joannis’ head, inflicting the fatal blows, the source said.

Neighbors told police that the older man fell to the curbside and the boys started pumping his chest. “”People said they could see the three young men pumping the victim’s chest, trying to revive him,” the source said. “Neighbors said it looked like it was too late to save the man.”

Joannis Safetis was taken to New York Hospital Queens where he died a short while later.

Demetrios Safetis was arrested at the scene and was charged with manslaughter, assault and criminal possession of a weapon at his arraignment at Queens Criminal Court, where he was held without bail.

Neighbors on Safetis’ tree-lined block said the father and sons argued all the time. “The arguments were never physical,” a neighbor said. “There were a lot of threats, a lot of very bad feelings in that house,” the man said. “No one around here ever thought something like this would happen, but it doesn’t surprise us,” the man said. “It all blew up and the father is dead – and the kid just threw his life away.”

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