Attorney general candidate accused of violating protection order in alleged strangulation case

Attorney general candidate accused of violating protection order in alleged strangulation case
Omaha police booking photo of Van Argyrakis.

A candidate for Nebraska attorney general is accused of violating a protection order his father filed against him after he allegedly strangled the older man in April.

Evangelos “Van” Argyrakis called his 82-year-old father, Andreas Argyrakis, two days after the protection order was approved, Andreas Argyrakis told police. 

The protection order alleges that Argyrakis, 51, choked, repeatedly punched and threatened his father with a knife on April 8 at the older man’s home near 35th Avenue and Pacific Street. Argyrakis was angry that his father would not give him money, according to court documents.

Van Argyrakis is awaiting trial on a felony charge of strangulation, which carries a maximum of three years in prison. If he is convicted, he could not hold public office. 

Argyrakis is running as a Democrat against Republican incumbent Attorney General Doug Peterson. The head of the Nebraska Democratic Party has called on Argyrakis to drop out of the race.

Argyrakis had said he would decide on his candidacy after a hearing, which he waived before the primary election. In an interview Friday, he said that he will decide in June, and that the nature of the case may make his decision for him. He declined to comment on the strangulation charge. 

More than 65,000 people voted for Argyrakis in the primary election Tuesday. Peterson received nearly 140,000 votes. Argyrakis thanked his friends and those who have supported him in his candidacy. 

As for allegedly calling his father on Thursday, he denied that and said he was trying to reach his mother. A police officer verified that Argyrakis was staying at the hotel that showed up on the elderly Argyrakis’ caller ID. 

A police report also said that someone calling from the Greek Island Restaurant at 3821 Center St. was demanding that Andreas Argyrakis go to the courthouse and drop the protection order.