News State Victoria Police charge brothers after top cop bashed
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Police charge brothers after top cop bashed

Assistant Commissioner Chris O'Neill helps oversee safety on Victorian public transport. Photo: ABC
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Police have charged two brothers, aged 18 and 20, who allegedly launched an unprovoked attack on an off-duty senior Victorian police officer near a Melbourne train station.

The pair are charged with offences including intentionally and recklessly causing serious injury after being arrested at Malvern East on Monday.

They have been remanded in custody to face the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Tuesday.

Transit and Public Safety Command Assistant Commissioner Chris O’Neill was attacked about 5.30pm on Saturday in the grounds of St Kevin’s College, near a railway station at Toorak, in the city’s inner east.

Police allege he was kicked and punched in the head and chest.

Assistant Commissioner O’Neill was taken to hospital with two broken ribs, head injuries and possible kidney damage as well as bruises and cuts.

He was released from hospital on Monday.

Assistant Commissioner Bob Hill said his colleague, who suffered bleeding around the brain, was expected to make a full recovery from the “abhorrent” attack.

Assistant Commissioner Hill said the attack, which was not captured on CCTV, occurred after the brothers were allegedly removed from a Glen Waverley train by authorised transit officers.

He said Assistant Commissioner O’Neill was off duty and did not identify himself as a police officer when he encountered the two men.

“The encounter is still a little bit vague to us,” he said.

“There’s been a verbal altercation and then a physical altercation between Chris and the two males.”

After the assault Assistant Commissioner O’Neill walked to Heyington station, where he was given medical assistance by authorised officers.

“This was a despicable act. Someone going about their private business and to be attacked like this … this behaviour is abhorrent,” Assistant Commissioner Hill said.

Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton visited the injured officer on Monday afternoon following his release from hospital.

Assistant Commissioner Hill said the attack should not be used to draw broader conclusions about public safety.

“We have a transport system that certainly is well policed in the state of Victoria, and Chris O’Neill has led a capability and capacity build across that part of our workforce,” he said.

Anyone with information should contact Crime Stoppers.

-with AAP