Jack Joyce, an 18-year-old Darien High School senior arrested last month following an escalating social media exchange that ended with the assault of a New Canaan juvenile, was arraigned Thursday in state Superior Court in Norwalk.
Appearing before Judge Alex Hernandez, Joyce’s Norwalk-based attorney, John Thygerson, said the teen is applying for accelerated rehabilitation to address misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct and interfering with an officer. If granted, the pretrial program—a form of parole—is typically designed to impose specific conditions on Joyce over a period of time that, if met, would result in dismissal of the criminal charges.
Wearing a blazer, blue shirt, red tie and khakis, an unsmiling Joyce stood by while Thygerson requested of the court that media outlets seeking to photograph and videotape the proceedings be disallowed from doing so.
Thygerson argued that media coverage “has generated” wide interest in Joyce’s case though the teen faces a “minor charge,” and that continued coverage could “prejudice a jury panel” should the matter go to trial.
He additionally noted that the camera adds 10 pounds of weight to its subjects and did not care to be viewed in such a light, drawing laughter from the crowded courtroom.
Hernandez denied the request, allowing the recording, and after Joyce swore that he meets the requirements of the AR program, continued the case to Jan. 18.
It isn’t clear whether the prosecutors or an attorney representing the victim in the Nov. 6 incident—New Canaan-based Matthew Maddox—will challenge the AR application. Maddox was in court during the arraignment, representing the complaining witness, and went into the record as such.
According to arrest warrant applications from New Canaan Police that were signed by a prosecutor and judge, Joyce played a central role in setting up a confrontation between a group of Darien students and the victim, a male New Canaan juvenile with whom one of them had been trash-talking via text and ShapChat.
Specifically, Joyce sent a photo of his own middle finger and then texts saying “It’s Joyce” and “We’re coming”—meaning, coming to a house party on Old Kings Highway in New Canaan.
There, at about 11:15 p.m. on that Monday night, Joyce and others entered the home—though they had been instructed not to come—and he “got into the face” of a juvenile, according to one eyewitness account. Joyce grew aggressive, creating a disturbance inside the home, and later provided false information when questioned by police, the application said.
While the out-of-towners were at the house, another 18-year-old Darien High School senior, Brian Minicus, punched the New Canaan victim about one dozen times in the face as another unnamed 17-year-old held him down, according to police. (Minicus applied for AR last week; the juvenile’s case is being by the Juvenile Matters Division of Superior Court.)
Ultimately all three teens turned themselves in to New Canaan Police on Nov. 22, the day before Thanksgiving and the annual New Canaan-Darien football game, known as the Turkey Bowl. Neither Joyce nor Minicus—a quarterback and receiver, respectively, for the Blue Wave squad—played in that game, which New Canaan won handily. Joyce would return for the balance of the postseason and help lead the Blue Wave to a state title and No. 1 ranking in Connecticut, rankling some.