This article was originally written by Mike Dinan and published on sister site NewCanaanite.com on Nov 22, 2017
Police on Wednesday evening arrested three Darien teenagers by warrant following the assault of a juvenile earlier this month in New Canaan.
Brian Minicus, 18, was charged with third-degree assault and second-degree unlawful restraint; Jack Joyce, 18, was charged with disorderly conduct and interfering with an officer; and a 17-year-old was charged with conspiracy to commit third-degree assault and second-degree unlawful restraint. Police withheld the name of the third offender because of his age.
Joyce and Minicus play as quarterback and wide receiver, respectively, for the Darien High School football team, and their arrests come on the eve of the Turkey Bowl. It isn’t clear whether or how the arrests will affect whether they’re permitted to play in the annual Darien-New Canaan rival football game that’s held each Thanksgiving morning, or whether the third teen arrested also is on the Blue Wave roster.
According to a report from the New Canaan Police Department, at about 11:15 p.m. on Nov. 6—a Monday, the day before Election Day—the three Darien teens showed up at the home of a New Canaan male juvenile on Old Kings Highway.
Minicus and the 17-year-old from Darien grabbed the victim, then Minicus placed him in a headlock while the other teen held the victim down, according to the police report.
“It was at that time that Minicus began punching the juvenile victim in the head and face,” the report said.
The assault was stopped by a friend of the juvenile victim, who was able to pull Minicus off of the juvenile and free him from the 17-year-old Darien male who had been holding him down, the report said.
Joyce, meanwhile, created a disturbance inside the home and when questioned later by investigators about his involvement in the incident, provided false information, the report said.
Minicus and Joyce each were released on $500 bond and scheduled to appear Dec. 5 in state Superior Court in Norwalk. The 17-year-old’s case was referred to the Juvenile Matters Division of state Superior Court.
Minicus and Joyce both appear to have crossed paths with law enforcement in the recent past.
According to Connecticut Judicial Branch records, Connecticut State Police Troop H on July 6 cited Minicus for creating a public disturbance. He pleaded not guilty to the charge, records show.
Joyce on June 27 was cited by New Canaan Police for possession of alcohol by a minor on a public street or highway. He also pleaded not guilty to the infraction.
The Darien team, at 9-0, will enter the New Canaan game seeking to punch its ticket to an undefeated regular season.
The game is to be held at Boyle Stadium in Stamford. Kickoff is at 10:30 a.m.
New Canaan High School Athletic Director in a late-Wednesday email to parents said he didn’t know whether the arrested Darienites would be allowed to play, though “the Darien Administration is working on their response to this very difficult situation.”
“I am asking that none of our parents become directly involved by contacting anyone associated with Darien HS, Darien administration, or the Darien football team,” Egan said in his email. “We should give the administration the same consideration we would hope for and expect if the situation were reversed. We are also concerned about our students’ social media use regarding this incident, and ask that you please speak with them as well.”
The NCHS policy in such cases is very clear: “When the school has substantiated knowledge that a student athlete has been charged with a criminal offense, he/she will immediately be suspended from participation. The high school administration and athletic director will consider duration of the suspension and reinstatement of the student to a program based upon a review of the information.”
Mark Sherman, a Stamford-based criminal defense attorney representing the unnamed Darien arrestee, said that his client was not directly involved in the fight.
“My client was a bystander, and that’s according to multiple eyewitness accounts,” Sherman told NewCanaanite.com in an email.
He said that the boys “proactively mediated the dispute the next morning.”
“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 in the email. “These boys have all played football together for years and it has been a friendly rivalry.”
Darien’s Board of Education and administrators released the following statement as news of the arrests broke:
The upcoming game has historically been among the most exciting events in any given year. It is our hope that good sportsmanship and fair play will be the hallmark of this year’s contest without letting an outside issue dominate the day.
The BOE and school administration do not comment on the specifics of ongoing legal or disciplinary matters involving students.
As an educational institution, our mission is to educate our children as they grow into productive members of our society. We value codes of conduct, responsibility, and respect for all. We take violations of these principles very seriously and act accordingly.
We affirm our policy that participation in voluntary school activities is an honor and a privilege, which may be limited and/or revoked if it is deemed necessary by the administration based on student misconduct.
Once again, it is our expectation that all Darien students will act in a way that makes our school and community proud.
The current situation will evolve through the proper authorities. Given that there are students involved there will be no further comment.