‘Horrible’: Family speaks after Open tourists bashed
THE family of a US doctor and his son attacked in a violent bashing after watching the Australian Open has broken its silence about the "horrible" incident.
Acclaimed physician Edmund Pribitkin, 52, was with his son, Edik, 17, at the Queen Victoria Gardens on Wednesday about 11:30pm when they were allegedly attacked by a gang of teenagers.
Dr Pribitkin was left with serious head injuries and placed in an induced coma while his son was concussed with a broken nose. Both are now in a stable condition at The Alfred.
His daughter, Tesa Pribitkin, told Nine News it was "horrible" to realise what had happened to them while they visited the Australian Open - which was a lifelong dream.
"They didn't seem to want their possessions or anything because my brother and dad offered them but they sort of just kept hitting them repeatedly," she told Nine News about the gang that were originally asking for cigarettes.
"It's horrible because I think this is going to be something that we will affiliate with the Australian Open for a while."
Tennis Australia chief executive Craig Tiley said the victims would be offered support in Australia and the US.
"Our thoughts are with the family at this difficulty time. We are in close communication and will provide support wherever possible throughout the ordeal," Mr Tiley said in a statement.
Five teenagers, including one who was on bail, have been charged following the incident and another separate robbery of three German tourists in Melbourne's CBD on Wednesday night.
Charge sheets allege one intended to cause serious injury and that the victim was "incapacitated" after the attack.
Three of them are 17-year-old boys and are due to appear in a children's court on February 8. One of them is believed to have been on bail at the time and is thought to face 11 more charges including theft of an iPhone, watch, and multiple counts of unlawful violence.
Two 16-year-old girls have also been charged with attempted affray, robbery and assault.