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Two Darien High Football Players Arrested In Assault Of New Canaan Teen

Brian Minicus
Brian Minicus Photo Credit: New Canaan Police Department
Jack Joyce
Jack Joyce Photo Credit: New Canaan Police Department

NEW CANAAN, Conn. — At least two members of the Darien High football team along with a third teen were arrested Wednesday in an assault on New Canaan teen earlier this month, police said.

The arrests came the evening before the Turkey Bowl matchup, the big rivalry between New Canaan High and Darien High. The three teenagers turned themselves in at New Canaan police headquarters at about 5:25 p.m. Wednesday on active arrest warrants.

“The warrants stem from an assault that occurred in New Canaan at a residence on Old Kings Highway" at 11:15 p.m. Monday, Nov. 6, New Canaan police said.

Jack Joyce and Brian Minicus, both 18-year-old DHS seniors, were arrested on the eve of the Blue Wave’s Thanksgiving Day matchup against New Canaan High School. They surrendered at New Canaan Police headquarters around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Brian Minicus, 18, was charged with third-degree assault and second-degree  unlawful restraint. He was released on $500 bond for a court appearance Dec. 5.

Jack Joyce, 18, was charged with disorderly conduct and interfering with a police officer. He was released on $500 bond for a court appearance Dec. 5.

Joyce is the starting quarterback for the Darien High football team, and Minicus is a wide receiver and defensive back.

A 17-year-old from Darien, who was not identified because he is a juvenile, was charged with third-degree conspiracy to commit assault and second-degree unlawful restraint. He was released to his parents and is due in juvenile court on an unspecified date.

Minicus and the 17-year-old went to a home on Old Kings Highway in New Canaan on Nov. 6 and assaulted a juvenile there, police said.

"Minicus placed [the victim] in a headlock while the 17-year-old juvenile offender held him down,” police said in a statement. “It was at that time that Minicus began punching the juvenile victim in the head and face.”

The assault was stopped by a juvenile friend of the victim, who pulled off Minicus and the juvenile offender, police said.

Police said Joyce went to the Old Kings Highway residence and created a disturbance inside the house. Police also said that when questioned, Joyce provided false information.

An investigation determined that Joyce showed up at the residence and created a disturbance while inside, police said. He also provided false information about his involvement into this incident when questioned by officers, police said.

Darien High — ranked as the No. 1 team in the state — is set to play New Canaan at 10 a.m. Thursday at Stamford’s Boyle Stadium in one of the biggest football rivalry games in Connecticut. The status of the two football players was not known.

Mark Sherman , the Stamford criminal defense lawyer representing the juvenile, denied his client was directly involved in the fight.

"My client was a bystander, and that's according to multiple eyewitness accounts," he said.

Sherman also noted 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. These boys have all played football together for years and it has been a friendly rivalry."

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