FLUSHING, N.Y – As The National Herald reported: Ioannis Safetis, a 57-year-old Queens resident was beaten to death, allegedly by his son Demetrios, 19, Friday night February 6, outside the home of the elder Safetis’ ex-girlfriend, in the Auburndale neighborhood of Flushing.
“Demetrios was charged with manslaughter, assault, and criminal possession of a weapon when he was arraigned in Queens Criminal Court. Judge William Harrington set bail at $50,000 and Safetis returns to court on February. 29.
Assistant District Attorney Crystal Igneri told the New York Daily News the attack was “’fueled by booze.’
“The trouble began when Safetis’ ex-girlfriend called him to complain that Demetrios and his 16-year-old brother were at her house partying with her 20-year-old son, at which point the two siblings got into a drunken fight.
“Already irritated because he didn’t want his sons being on friendly terms with his ex, the News reported, Safetis jumped into his car and headed to her house, where he threatened all of them.
“Safetis then ran to his car to grab a steering wheel lock club, which he brought back to the house and started waving around. Demetrios wrestled the club away from his father and beat him to death with it.”
Now, that ex-girlfriend, Irene Vrachnos, 50, has relayed her version of the story, to NY City Lens.
Outside of her home on Utopia Parkway, where Safetos was killed, Vrachnos has left a shrine in his memory, Lens reported, including the following handwritten note: “Yianne Safetis my beloved that I Love near and far Died in front of Utopia, once we shared of Love and dispute. Peaceful Mind Soul.”
Vrachnos told Lens that she met Safetis in 2009 at a Waldbaum’s in Flushing while she was shopping with her daughter. He gave her his number, but she didn’t call until a few months later, when her house needed repairs from a fire (Safetis was a construction worker). The couple dated for years, and Safetis told her they would die together, she told Lens. But when they broke up in 2015, Safetis did not want his sons, Demetrios (Dimitri – 19) and Nikolaos (Niko – 16) associating with her. But Vrachnos worried about them “as a mother” she told Lens.
The boys had grown up in Hicksville, NY with their mother, Safetis’ ex-wife, but moved in with their father in 2013 when they started having problems in school, Vrachnos told Lens. But Dimitri had a drinking problem, and there were often loud arguments in their house, neighbors reported.
On the night Safetis was killed, the brothers were grieving the death of their paternal grandfather the day before, who was instrumental in raising them. Niko, apparently disturbed by Dimitri’s quiet mourning, accused him of apathy and an argument ensued, Vrachnos told Lens. She called Safetis to come get his sons, and that’s when he arrived and the altercation began.
Vrachnos says her own son went to push her into the house after Safetis struck her in the face, and when she looked back, she saw him lying in the street.
Irene Vrachnos shared with NY City Lens a photo during happier times, as she and Ioannis Safetis (L) flank his son Dimitri at his high school graduation.