Philip Messing, New York Post, August 11, 2008
A wolf pack of at least 30 thugs viciously attacked two hero ex-Marines in Brooklyn after they rescued a teenage girl who was being assaulted, police and witnesses said yesterday.
The former leathernecks, Valentyn Olenyev, 23, and Boris Bukler, 22, Russian émigrés who served tours in Iraq, were walking a female friend to her parked car on West 23rd Street at 12:30 a.m. when they spotted two men holding the screaming teen by her hands and legs.
“She was screaming, and all we did was look to help her. I got a bottle smashed over my head, and after that, I started fighting. But I got beat down.
“I was getting my ass kicked by 50 people,” [said Buckler.]
“When I [Ivan, 22, Olenyev’s brother] showed up, there were a lot of people there, people on the left and people on the right, and then—‘Boom!’—I got hit and passed out,” Ivan told The Post from his hospital bed.
Police sources said he was pounded senseless by 240-pound Timothy Dixon, 23, who was swinging a metal baseball bat.
The NYPD is looking for Dixon, who remains at large.
The teenage girl fled after the melee.
The two former Marines, meanwhile, insist that the violence had racial overtones, although the assault has not been labeled a bias crime.
Bukler said, “Those in the crowd were yelling, ‘Hey, white boys, you’re in the ’hood now!’ We were yelling back, ‘We don’t care—we live here!’