Brown U. player critically injured by head punch

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WHDH) — A Brown University basketball player is in critical condition after being punched in the head in what appeared to be an unprovoked attack, according to police.

Brown University student Ashley Frith said she heard what sounded like a fight outside her window early Sunday morning.

“It just sounded like somebody getting hit,” said Frith. “It was yelling — you know, people trying to get each other worked up.”

Joseph Sharkey, 21, of Norwood, Mass. suffered severe head injuries when a man came up to him and hit him while he was talking to a group of people on Providence’s East Side. Sharkey is a sophomore on the basketball team.

Kaitlyn Keon, who is on the women’s ice hockey team at Brown, said Sharkey is a good person.

“He’s a nice kid. He’s a good kid. I would never see him causing any trouble,” said Keon.

Police are continuing to investigate.