Lawyer: Assault on Brown athlete was self-defense

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WHDH) — A Connecticut man charged with assault on a Brown University basketball player that left him hospitalized with severe head injuries acted in self-defense, his attorney said Friday. Providence police made a second arrest in the case Friday afternoon, charging a Brown University student with disorderly conduct.

Tory Lussier, 25, of Vernon, Conn., made his initial appearance in Providence District Court on Friday on a felony assault charge. He was released on bail and had no comment outside court.

But his lawyer, John Lombardi, told a judge it was a "clear case of self-defense." Asked later to elaborate, Lombardi declined.

Lussier is accused of assaulting 21-year-old Joseph Sharkey of Norwood early Sunday morning following an altercation. Sharkey, a sophomore member of Brown's basketball team, suffered serious head injuries and has been in critical condition at Rhode Island Hospital. Sharkey is on life support.

Charles Calenda, special assistant attorney general, told the judge Friday the assault was an "unprovoked attack."

Detectives arrested a Brown University student Friday afternoon, charging him with disorderly conduct. According to the police report, the student was an active participant and aggressor in the disturbance which led to the assault on Sharkey.

“We identified another subject — Dylan Ingram — and he was arrested and charged with one count of disorderly conduct,” said Captain Michael Correia, Providence, Rhode Island Police Department.

Lussier is an active member of the Marine reserves and has served 10 months in Afghanistan, Lombardi said. He said Lussier was in Providence to see his superior officer and others with whom he has served. He said he doesn't believe Lussier and Sharkey knew each other.

Lussier was arrested at his home in Vernon on Wednesday and waived extradition to Rhode Island on Thursday. His father posted his bail Friday.

A pretrial hearing is scheduled for July 22.

The arrested Brown student is being held at the Providence Police Department.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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