A pair of beefy men were arraigned today on charges they beat a panhandler to the sidewalk early one morning in Allston, in an attack that stopped only when a woman passerby rushed to shield the unconscious man with her own body, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.
A Suffolk County grand jury indicted Craig Parsons, 22, a Boston College football player from West Newton, and Anthony Varrichione, 23, a former quarterback at Marist College from Medway, on charges of aggravated assault and battery and aggravated assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. Parsons was also charged with witness intimidation, the DA's office reports, adding they were released on personal recognizance today.
According to the DA's office, the two took offense to a homeless 50-year-old man asking for change around 2 a.m. on Jan. 26 outside 74 Allston St.
After a verbal altercation in which the victim was told to go away, Parsons and Varrichione allegedly approached him and began punching and kicking him. Parsons also allegedly knocked the victim's head into the sidewalk.
A female passerby who witnessed a portion of the attack interceded, prosecutors said, by running to the victim’s aid, shielding him from the assailants until they left, and then holding his head to ensure he could breathe. Other witnesses called 911 and the victim was taken to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in critical condition. He is expected to survive but now has no memory of the assault.
The DA's office says witnesses immediately identified "two very large men" as the attackers, but that police were unable to more specifically ID them, at least at first.
The investigation also yielded evidence that Parsons on four separate occasions directed a person known to him not to cooperate with the investigation and not to identify him to authorities, which forms the basis for the witness intimidation charge against him.