Father of accused cop bashers charged over Facebook posts

Jared Pihlgren is the first person to be charged under new laws introduced earlier this year making it an offence to intimidate a law enforcement officer or member of their family.

The law carries a maximum penalty of 10 years’ jail.

Jared Pilgren called the victim of a bashing a ‘maggot dog’ on Facebook.Source:Facebook

Jared Pihlgren outside court yesterday. Picture: James Ross/AAP

Jared Pihlgren outside court yesterday. Picture: James Ross/AAPSource:AAP

Jay Stephens, 20.

Jay Stephens, 20.Source:Facebook

Isaiah Stephens, 18.

Isaiah Stephens, 18.Source:Facebook

One of the social media posts, which has since been deleted, allegedly read: “I’d p**s on you Chris O’Neill ya maggot dog. I got zero respect and you know why. F*** the police and your crew ya swine. You attack mine, god help yours.”

Another read: “Cops want war let’s start gangland killings again.”

Outside court, Mr Pihlgren told reporters he hates police.

“Do you have a hatred for police?” he was asked.

“Yes I do,” he said.

“Why’s that?”

“Because they’re criminals.”

Mr Pihlgren sat at the back of Court 4 at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court yesterday afternoon as a police officer urged his son not to live with him.

Sergeant Matthew Rizun told the court the father has an “extreme hatred for police” and has been “extremely uncooperative”.

He said Mr Pihlgren had refused to help police track down his two boys, Jay Stephens, 20, and Isaiah Stephens, 18, after Saturday night’s incident that left Mr O’Neill with fractured ribs and internal bleeding.

Sgt Rizun told the court the family had also been “very active” on social media after the two brothers were allegedly kicked off a train for urinating and vomiting in a carriage before crossing paths with the off-duty police officer.

He told reporters he believed the brothers did not know they were attacking a policeman but reiterated his belief the Assistant Commissioner was a “maggot” when pressed on the matter.

“Why did you call the Assistant Commissioner a maggot?” Mr Pilgren was asked by 9 News.

“Because he is,” he responded.

The brothers allegedly kicked and punched Chris O’Neill in the head and chest. Picture: Victoria Police

The brothers allegedly kicked and punched Chris O’Neill in the head and chest. Picture: Victoria PoliceSource:AAP

The pair were allegedly “intimidating” passengers on the train. Picture: Victoria Police

The pair were allegedly “intimidating” passengers on the train. Picture: Victoria PoliceSource:AAP

Both Jay and Isaiah appeared in court wearing T-shirts and with their heads shaved. CCTV footage from Heyington Station on Saturday night shows Isaiah’s hair was past his shoulders.

Sgt Rizun said police found the teen’s hair when they raided a property at Malvern East.

Jay Stephens did not apply for bail and was remanded ahead of his next court date. Isaiah’s bail application will be heard on Friday.

The court heard the pair had been “intimidating” passengers on the Glen Waverley line after drinking alcohol at Southern Cross station.

They were asked to leave the train by Metro Trains authorised officers. When they disembarked at Heyington, Mr O’Neill was on the platform.

Contrary to earlier reports that Mr O’Neill crossed paths with the brothers at nearby St Kevin’s College, Sgt Rizun told the court he followed the brothers into the school grounds because he thought they were likely to cause trouble.

“The victim informed me that as he turned the corner, Jay Stephens said to him ‘What are you looking at?’” Sgt Rizun said.

“Mr O’Neill said, ‘Nothing mate’.”

Sgt Rizun said an “unprovoked” attack followed that included both co-accused punching Mr O’Neill to the face and body.

He was released from hospital on Monday and has not yet spoken to the media.


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