Two men arraigned on assault charges in attack at New London school construction site

Nicholas Vinci, left, and Kebner Dulphe III, are arraigned in New London Superior Court Friday, April 20, 2012, on charges stemming from an alleged assault in New London Thursday.

Two of the three men who allegedly donned ski masks and assaulted a construction worker in broad daylight at a construction site in New London Thursday were arraigned Friday afternoon in New London Superior Court.

Kebner Dulphe III, 27, of Middletown, and Nicholas Vinci, 18, of Cromwell, were each charged with second-degree assault, second-degree reckless endangerment and breach of peace.

A third person, Vincent Sullivan, 22, of Middletown, who Judge Kevin McMahon called a “main player” in the assault, had posted a $25,000 bond and did not appear in court.

McMahon said he could not believe Sullivan’s bond was set so low and called it “out of whack” with the serious charges. Sullivan faces the same charges as his co-defendants.

According to an incident report, the 54-year-old victim and a witness were leaving the Nathan Hale School job site for the day around 4 p.m. when a co-worker approached them, upset because he believed they had told his boss he was smoking marijuana on the job. The unidentified co-worker said there would be problems if he lost his job, the report said.

After the confrontation, the victim and the witness continued to walk toward their cars. Suddenly, three men wearing ski masks appeared, and one of them started to hit the victim in the face, the two men said.

The witness said he noticed a maroon Toyota Camry parked on the sidewalk and took down its license plate number because he believed the men had arrived in that car.

Police spoke to a second witness, who said he had noticed the car the day before because it had quickly entered and exited the job site.

Stopped in Waterford

Waterford police stopped the Camry on Marilyn Road. All three men in the car were detained and taken to New London police headquarters.

Police said the victim was taken to Lawrence & Memorial Hospital with a broken nose and collapsed eye socket and needed two staples in his head.

Dulphe denied being at the job site, the report said. Police said Sullivan was uncooperative.

Dulphe and Vinci appeared briefly in court Friday. A bail commissioner said Dulphe has no criminal record but does have a pending sixth-degree larceny charge in Middletown. The bail commissioner asked the court to set the bond at $50,000.

But Assistant State’s Attorney Michael Kennedy asked the court to set the bond at $125,000, calling the attack a “violent, premeditated assault.” McMahon set the bond at $60,000 and continued the case to May 8.

A bail commissioner said that Vinci lives with his parents in Cromwell and is scheduled to appear in Middletown Superior Court Monday for a sentencing in an undisclosed case.

Vinci attempted to speak in court. “Isn’t this my trial? Can’t I say something?”

He was quickly hushed.

The court set Vinci’s bond at $10,000 cash only. His case was also continued to May 8.

As he was escorted back to a holding cell, Vinci shouted, “Sorry, Mom!”

His parents were in the gallery. His mother declined comment.

Both Dulphe and Vinci were wearing paper jumpsuits, as their clothes were seized as evidence. Police said a blood-like substance was found on their clothing.

i.larraneta@theday.com

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