Police: Two Darien football players charged for involvement in assault
Updated 11:54 pm, Wednesday, November 22, 2017
NEW CANAAN — On the eve of the annual Turkey Bowl between New Canaan and Darien, at least two members of the Darien football team have been charged by New Canaan police following an assault earlier this month.
Three Darien residents turned themselves in to New Canaan police on active arrest warrants Wednesday, police said.
“The warrants stem from an assault that occurred in New Canaan at a residence on Old Kings Highway on (Nov. 6) at approximately (11:15 p.m.),” police said.
Police said Darien resident Jack Joyce, 18, turned himself in to New Canaan police Wednesday on an active arrest warrant for interfering with an officer and disorderly conduct. He posted $500 bond and is scheduled to appear in court Dec. 5.
Brian Minicus, 18, of Darien, turned himself in Wednesday on an active arrest warrant for third-degree assault and second-degree unlawful restraint, police said. He was released after he posted $500 bond and is scheduled to appear in court Dec. 5.
A 17-year-old male juvenile turned himself in on an active arrest warrant for conspiracy to commit third-degree assault and second-degree unlawful restraint, police said. He was processed and released to his parents. He is scheduled to appear in Juvenile Court, but police did not release a date for his appearance.
Police withheld the name of the 17-year-old because of his age. It is not known whether he is a member of the football team, but police did confirm he is a Darien resident.
Joyce is the starting quarterback for Darien and Minicus plays wide receiver and defensive back.
Darien — the No. 1 team in the state according to the GameTime.com/New Haven Register poll — is set to play New Canaan on Thursday at 10 a.m. at Stamford’s Boyle Stadium.
The status of the two players for Thursday’s game was not immediately available. A statement from Darien Public Schools said participation in school activities can be limited or revoked “if it is deemed necessary by the administration based on student misconduct.”
“According to the juvenile victim of the assault, he was at a residence on Old Kings Highway when Joyce, Minicus and a 17-year-old male juvenile offender from Darien showed up at the residence,” police said.
A police investigation determined that Minicus and the 17-year-old juvenile offender showed up at the residence and grabbed the victim.
“Minicus placed him (the victim) in a headlock while the 17-year-old juvenile offender held him down,” police said. “It was at that time that Minicus began punching the juvenile victim in the head and face.”
A friend of the victim stopped the assault, police said.
The police investigation also found that Joyce had shown up at the residence and created a disturbance while inside the home. Police said he provided false information about his involvement in this incident when officers questioned him.
Mark Sherman, the Stamford criminal defense lawyer representing the juvenile charged in this incident, denied his client had direct involvement in the fight. He said multiple eyewitnesses could testify to his client being a bystander.
“While this could have been handled better, the boys did their best — they shook hands that night and even regrouped the next morning to peacefully resolve the conflict,” Sherman said. “These boys have all played football together for years and it has been a friendly rivalry.”
A statement from Darien Public Schools would not confirm or deny if the students involved would be allowed to play in Thursday’s game.
“The (Board of Education) and school administration do not comment on the specifics of ongoing legal or disciplinary matters involving students,” said a statement from Darien Public Schools. “We take violations of these principles very seriously and act accordingly.”
The statement went on to say: “The current situation will evolve through the proper authorities. Given that there are students involved there will be no further comment.”
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