A MAN accused of invading a Wodonga flat early yesterday and slashing a man’s face and hand has told police a dispute over money stolen from him had sparked the incident.
Shayne Joseph Veletta, 45, allegedly broke into a Ware Avenue unit where a man, 23, and woman, 34, were sleeping in the lounge room about 4.45am. He is said to have attacked the man with a boxcutter.
He appeared in court yesterday afternoon after being found at the Birallee shopping centre in West Wodonga.
Wodonga detective Acting Sgt Andrew Leonard said Veletta was accused of slashing the man and beating him before he fled.
There were drops of blood on the driveway of the two-unit block.
The wounded man was treated at Wodonga Hospital and later released.
Sgt Leonard said police were investigating Veletta’s claims about money being stolen but said police should be contacted in the case of any dispute.
“People need to contact police, not take matters into their own hands,” he said.
“It was a savage attack, not the sort of thing we see here in Wodonga.
“To suddenly attack someone with a weapon is quite extreme.”
Veletta appeared in Wodonga Court on four charges — two of aggravated burglary, one of intentionally causing serious injury and one of common law assault.
He did not seek bail and was remanded in custody after a short appearance before magistrate Stella Stuthridge.
Veletta remained silent throughout, sitting in a long-sleeved collarless white Nike shirt and black pants, as Ms Stuthridge asked his lawyer, Greg Duncan, about custodial issues.
Mr Duncan said Veletta suffered a bipolar disorder and was on a methadone program.
He also took prescribed Valium every day.
But he said Veletta, of Gayview Drive, West Wodonga, did not require a doctor.
Ms Stuthridge noted Mr Duncan’s points and remanded the dark-haired Veletta to reappear before Wodonga Court on April 11.
Earlier, police cordoned off the Ware Avenue unit.
Neighbours were surprised to see blue and white police tape surrounding the unit when they woke.
“It must have been quiet because I didn’t hear a thing,” neighbour Jim Harrington said.
“It’s an absolute shock, especially with a quiet little street like this.”
Another neighbour said she had seen the victim with a bandaged head being loaded in to an ambulance about 5am.
“I’m a bit freaked out,” she said. “It’s a pretty quiet street but those units have had a couple of police there before.”