Probation Agreement Reached for Two Darien Teens Charged After Assault on New Canaan Teen [UPDATED]

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A judge agreed Wednesday to grant probation to two Darien teenagers who were charged in November in connection with the assault on a New Canaan boy, and after community service is completed, there won’t be a record of the criminal case, the attorney for one of the teens said.

Brian Minicus Jack Joyce

Photos from New Canaan P.D.

Arrest photos for Brian Minicus and Jack Joyce, both 18, both from Darien, both on the Darien High School football team.

Editor’s note: This article has been updated at 8:43 p.m., with comments from Jack Joyce’s attorney and with a correction.

Attorney Stephen Seeger of Stamford said his client, Brian Minicus, 18, “apologized to the victim and to his own family,” at the hearing in state Superior Court in Norwalk. Minicus had previously apologized to the victim.

According to Hearst Newspapers, Minicus said at the court hearing:

“I want to apologize to the victim, my family, especially my mom and dad, and all of Darien. […] I feel like I left them down. … I learned a lot in these three months. They’ve been the worst three months.”

“Gracefully, they [the victim and his family] extended the courtesy of not objecting” to the request for accelerated rehabilitation. Minicus’ next court date is March 8, but he doesn’t have to show up for the court hearing, Seeger said. By then, Seeger expects to have notified the court that Minicus performed 40 hours of community service. At that point, the judge said the charges would be dropped and the public record of it erased.

Joyce Court

Jack Joyce, 18, and his attorney John Thygerson appear in state Superior Court in Norwalk for an arraignment on charges of disorderly conduct and interfering with an officer on Dec. 14, 2017. Photo by Erik Trautmann / Hearst Connecticut Media

Seeger said he believed Jack Joyce, in court at the same hearing, also received accelerated rehabilitation. A juvenile charged along with Joyce and Minicus went to Juvenile Court for the disposition of his case.

“It is the right disposition,” Seeger said. “All of these boys have college prospects and things to think about. […] I’m just glad the court took into consideration this young man had college prospects that were important. I’m glad the court recognized there were many lessons learned.”

  • UPDATE: John Thygerson, Joyce’s attorney, said in an interview Wednesday night that as a consequence of his arrest last year, an offer of early admission to college had been withdrawn, has been subjected to “unbelievable press coverage, which is incommensurate with the charges alleged,” has seen an enormous “digital presence of this minor case,” and even his younger sister endured ridicule because her older brother was arrested.
  • “It’s been a slaughterhouse of negative publicity by the press,” Thygerson said. Had the case occurred in many other towns in the area, away from the Gold Coast, it would never have been such a big story, he said.
  • Not only has Joyce been in varsity sports teams in high school, he’s also maintained a 3.67 grade-point average while taking honors courses, Thygerson said adding that Judge Alex Hernandez, who presided in the court hearing, noted that Joyce had impressive academic and athletic credentials.
Seeger Minicus Court dec six seventeen

Attorney Stephan Seeger with Brian Minicus, at state Superior Court in Norwalk on Dec. 6, 2017. Mandatory credit: Erik Trautmann/ Hearst Connecticut Media

The teenage victim had been trading trash talk by text with people Minicus was with, when Minicus, Joyce and others decided to visit a party where they understood the teenager was located, New Canaan police said.

When the Darien teenagers arrived, Minicus repeatedly pummeled him, according to police. The next day, Minicus apologized to the victim, but police found out about the matter, investigated and later charged the Darien teens.

Both Minicus and Joyce were players on the Blue Wave varsity team. Each was off the field for the Turkey Bowl, but Joyce, a quarterback, played in future games, and Darien won the state title.

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Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly said that Joyce was said to have held the victim, but that accusation was made against the juvenile who was charged in the case, not Joyce.