By JOHN CHRISTOFFERSEN, Associated Press
STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) _ Charges were dropped on Friday against a nephew of New York Giants owner John Mara who had been accused of hitting a man in the head with a bottle during a New Year’s Eve party.
Prosecutors in Connecticut dropped the charges of assault and breach of peace in Bridgeport Superior Court against the nephew, also named John Mara, according to his attorney, William Dow III.
The man who was hit, Philip Blackman, said he had no recollection of the assault.
Police said in an arrest affidavit that a witness identified Mara as the person who committed the assault. But the affidavit said the witness initially did not pick Mara out of a photo lineup of six men and only identified him after seeing an updated photo.
Mara, who lives in Mount Kisco, N.Y., was arrested in February.
“We’ve always maintained from day one that Jack Mara was innocent,” Dow said. “This confirms that.”
Prosecutor John Smriga said the charges were dropped after other witnesses came forward to indicate a third person talked about committing the assault. No one else has been charged but the case is still under investigation.
Blackman said doctors told him that if he had not gotten to the hospital and had emergency surgery to relieve pressure on his brain he might have died that night, according to the arrest affidavit, which says he suffered a skull fracture and a brain hemorrhage.
College student Luke Kazmierczak, who was home for the holidays, told police he witnessed the assault.
But he initially did not pick Mara out of a photo lineup of six men, according to the affidavit. Police said that the photo of Mara, a senior at Fairfield University at the time who has since graduated, was taken when he was a freshman and looked significantly different.
When Kazmierczak later was shown an updated photo, he immediately picked out Mara as the person he saw hit Blackman, police said in the affidavit.
(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)