New Canaan teen victim in assault: “I just wanted him to stop.”
NORWALK — What started as a simple night of hanging out with friends and watching TV quickly turned into a violent nightmare for one New Canaan teenager when a “stampede” of Darien teens descended on his friend’s basement and assaulted him.
At Norwalk Superior Court Wednesday, the teen victim relived what happened in light of Brian Minicus of Darien, his alleged assailant, being considered for a second stage accelerated rehabilitation program.
“I tried to defend myself, but I couldn’t move,” the teen recalled. “I remember thinking I just wanted him to stop.”
Minicus, 18, is charged with third-degree assault and second-degree unlawful restraint for allegedly punching the teen in the head after another 17-year-old Darien boy pinned the victim down. The Nov. 6 incident ended in charges for three Darien teenagers, including Minicus who was a wide receiver and defensive back for the Darien High School football team this past season.
The victim, a New Canaan High School student, described the night of his assault in court on Jan. 17 in front of Minicus and presiding Judge Alex Hernandez. After being introduced by his attorney, Matthew Maddox of New Canaan, the teen briefly told the court “what really happened.”
“My feelings still really haven’t changed,” the teen said. “I’m pissed off.”
According to the victim’s account, he was watching TV in a friend’s basement. A police report indicated the victim had been sending to Snapchats to Jack Joyce, 18. The same report indicated the victim, Joyce and Minicus had “a history of trash talking each other.” The teen said in his courtroom statement he had not sent any texts to Minicus the night of the assault.
Joyce, a Darien resident and the high school’ starting quarterback this past season, was charged with disorderly conduct and interfering with an officer following his involvement in the incident.
According to both the police report and the teen, around 11:15 p.m., the victim got up to go outside through the basement door when “a carload of Darien kids arrived.”
“Before I made it outside, I heard a stampede,” the victim said.
The teen victim said he thought the sound was coming from his friends, but turned and saw Darien teens coming into the basement. He said they began “immediately” attacking him, throwing him back against the wall so roughly that his head put a hole in it. The teen said he was then tackled, pinned down, put in a headlock and punched in the head multiple times by Minicus. According to the police report, the teen told police Minicus punched him about 12 times.
The victim said he began feeling nauseous as the punches continued. He said it wasn’t until a friend pulled Minicus away that the assault stopped.
The teen took the opportunity to speak in court to correct rumors this was a “fair fight” and the two resolved the issue by shaking hands afterward. According to court documents, the 17-year-old Darien teen charged with holding down the victim told police everyone shook hands before the Darien teens left the house.
“It’s not a fair fight when someone’s held down by one person,” the victim said. “I was held down and beaten.”
The victim described feeling angry and “in a daze” for several days after the assault. He told Judge Hernandez he had recovered now, but had an MRI done which showed no damage.
“I don’t think Brian would’ve stopped,” he said. “He had no intention of stopping.”
When Hernandez explained the accelerated rehabilitation program to the victim and how it would cause Minicus’ case to be diverted, the teen looked visibly conflicted.
“Honestly, I’m still pissed off about everything that happened,” he told Hernandez.
Hernandez continued the case to March 8 to give the victim time to think more about the assault, telling Minicus to keep his record clean in the meantime.
“It’s important to me to know (the victim’s) thoughts and feelings,” Hernandez said. “I don’t want to put any more pressure on him.”
Minicus currently has charges out of New Britain where he was issued an infraction for creating a public disturbance in July. He allegedly did not appear in court on this charge and was issued a ticket for this.