“She came over, and tried to take away somebody’s husband, and got beat up. It’s [expletive]. She did it to herself.”
A DeLand Police officer was caught on camera, making that comment about a possible domestic violence victim, and then talking her out of pursuing charges against the man she says choked her.
9 Investigates learned Officer Illya Kryschenko was allowed to keep his job, even though he could have been fired.
A victim’s advocate raised questions about how Kryschenko spoke to the woman, who came to police looking for help after going to the hospital. That victim’s advocate tried to help the woman find resources after Kryschenko said she would need to “skip town” to avoid the man instead of pursuing charges.
“How badly is she bruised up?” Kryschenko can be heard saying on body camera before heading to meet the woman in the lobby of DeLand police headquarters.
Once inside an interview room with that woman, it became apparent she was the victim of a possible dating violence battery.
“He’s been abusive to me in the past,” the woman explained. According to an internal affairs investigation, she was “visibly beaten.”
“He grabbed me by my throat and threw me down,” the woman said.
“Why would he throw you down?” Kryschenko asked.
“Because we have had problems,” she answered.
The internal affairs investigation noted Kryschenko was “treating the victim as if she were in the wrong.” The officer didn’t document the incident, or the woman’s injuries.
“What do you want me to do?” the officer asked the woman.
“I want to put charges and I want to do a restraining order.”
Even though the victim had clear visible injuries and she articulated the minimum crime of battery under dating violence, Kryschenko told the woman he couldn’t help her.
“You have to skip town,” he said. “I’m not the type who sugarcoats anything … he will not give up.”
Records obtained by 9 Investigates show Kryschenko had a history of issues within DPD and was on a performance improvement plan as recently as last year. Though the conversation caught on body camera could have led to his firing, he struck a deal to stay on the force.
The Chief of Police Jason Umberger released this statement:
“The DeLand Police Department is committed to providing excellence in law enforcement and compassionate crime victim and witness services. DeLand Police officers are trained and empowered to provide empathy and comfort to citizens. This incident is being used as an opportunity to help Officer Kryshchenko with retraining on domestic violence and dating violence investigations. He has shown in the past that he has the ability to be a very good officer for the DeLand Police Department. We are confident that he will improve his skills and continue to serve the community in a professional way.”