DARIEN — Snapchat, trash talking, and a deep-seated rivalry led to the confrontation that resulted in the arrest of three Darien teens, two of whom were on the Darien High School football team, according to court documents released Thursday.
Brian Minicus, 18, and Jack Joyce, 18, turned themselves into New Canaan police on the night before the Turkey Bowl between Darien and New Canaan. Joyce was charged with disorderly conduct and interfering with an officer and Minicus was charged with third-degree assault and second-degree unlawful restraint after the two were allegedly involved in an altercation where a New Canaan teen was beaten up.
Joyce is the starting quarterback for the Darien High School football team and Minicus plays wide receiver and defensive back.
A third 17-year-old turned himself in as well, facing charges of conspiracy to commit third-degree assault and second-degree unlawful restraint related to the fight. Police did not release his name or information because he is a juvenile.
According to court documents, the incident began in the evening hours of Nov. 6, the night before both towns were off from school due to municipal elections. The teen victim from New Canaan told police he had been at a friend’s home in New Canaan watching a movie around 9:45 p.m. with a group of friends.
The victim had been joking with a female friend of his from Darien, saying Darien High School sucks and New Canaan High School is better. The exchange was occurring via Snapchat, according to the victim. The female friend was at another party in Darien.
A little while later, the New Canaan teen said he received a snap from his female friend’s phone. The snap was a picture of Joyce, using the girl’s phone, with the message “It’s Joyce. We’re coming.”
The girl in question later told police Joyce was using her phone to trash talk with the victim through Snapchat and Joyce, Minicus and the victim have “a history of trash talking each other.” She told police she had suggested going to the party where the victim was after the party in Darien ended because she is family friends with the victim. She said she knew some of the Darien kids wanted to confront the victims, but didn’t know it would become physical.
Around 11:15 p.m., the victim was going outside to go to the bathroom “when a carload of Darien kids arrived.” Joyce later told police the students had gone to a side door of the New Canaan home and entered after knocking. A girl in the kitchen of the home led the group downstairs where the New Canaan kids were hanging out.
The girl who was hosting the New Canaan party later told police the teens had been to her house before, so they knew where to find them, but she told them over Snapchat not to come and they were not invited.
The victim told police the 17-year-old Darien teen, along with another guy, held him down while Minicus held him in a headlock and punched him in the face about 12 times. Several witnesses confirmed seeing Minicus punch the victim and that the 17-year-old Darien teen charged was involved in the fight. One of the victim’s friends broke up the fight and made the Darien teens leave. Witnesses said both parties shook hands before leaving. Another witness said he saw the victim icing his face after the incident.
According to one witness testimony, the fight lasted about 15 to 20 minutes during which time Darien kids were “yelling violently and talking dirty.” Another witness said the Darien teens refused to leave the home.
During this time, Joyce allegedly came downstairs and began yelling at another teen. The witness pushed Joyce away from the teen and he backed off.
The next day on Nov. 7, the victim went to police with his father to report the incident. Police said the teen has cuts on the side of his face, bruising under his right eye and a red nose. His left knee was also swollen.
The teen’s father told police Minicus had been texting his son to apologize and showed up at their home to clear the air. Police saw screenshots of the texts where Minicus said he knew the teen wasn’t going to do anything, but he wanted to apologize so his family didn’t press charges.
Police called in several witnesses at the party, as well as Minicus, Joyce and the 17-year-old.
Joyce told police he yelled at a girl at the party but was not involved in the fight. He denied sending the victim any texts, except for a picture of his middle finger which he sent to the victim after the victim sent a photo of his middle finger. Joyce said the 17-year-old Darien teen had been using the phone to communicate with the victim.
The 17-year-old arrested gave a statement saying Minicus was responsible for the inflammatory texts. He also told police he was not involved in the fight but saw a brief altercation between Minicus and the victim which ended in the two “agreeing not to bad mouth each other anymore.” He claimed all parties shook hands before leaving.
Police said the teen’s account contradicted the accounts from other witnesses at the party.
Based on Joyce yelling at the girl and acting aggressively, along with the fact he originally gave a false account to police, Joyce was charged with disorderly conduct. Minicus was also charged with the assault.
Neither teen played in the Thanksgiving Bowl game. A third player also sat out for unconfirmed reasons. Joyce did play in the first round of the Class L playoffs against West Hartford and scored all three touchdowns.
Minicus and Joyce are both scheduled to appear in Norwalk Court Dec. 5.