Warrant details fight between attorney, bar patron in East Lyme

New London attorney Anthony C. Basilica and the Colchester man he is accused of assaulting on the patio of the Black Sheep Pub on June 24 refused to provide statements to police in the aftermath of the incident.

Basilica, 27, of New London, detained a short time after the incident as he walked on Pennsylvania Avenue, told police he didn't have to talk to them and to "watch the tape" of the incident. He had a fat lip and bloody knuckles, smelled of alcohol and appeared intoxicated, according to police.  

The other man, 21-year-old Joshua Taylor, was bleeding profusely from the face and had a swollen eye when police arrived at the pub at 3:35 p.m. for a report of a fight in progress. Unsteady on his feet, Taylor said he was fine and wanted to leave and continued to be combative and scream profanities at first responders as he was placed onto a stretcher and loaded onto an ambulance. He kicked an emergency medical technician in the groin and had to be sedated before emergency room staff at Lawrence + Memorial Hospital could treat him.

Medical records indicated he suffered multiple fractures on the left side of his face and nose. His blood alcohol level was 0.32 percent, according to police.

Basilica was charged that day with second-degree assault and second-degree breach of peace. Since he practices law in New London Superior Court, his case was transferred to Geographical Area Court 15 in New Britain. He appeared in court Tuesday with his attorney, William F. Dow. The case was continued to Sept. 20, when Basilica is expected to enter a plea, according to a court clerk.

Police continued to investigate the incident and on Aug. 2 charged Taylor with third-degree assault and breach of peace. He appeared in New London Superior Court on Aug. 22 and pleaded not guilty. He is due back in court on Sept. 12, according to the Judicial Branch Website, which does not list a defense attorney in the case.

According to the arrest warrant in Taylor's case, written by East Lyme Police Officer Eric M. Holt, both men were at a banquet for participants of that day's charity golf tournament at Cedar Ridge Golf Course in Flanders. Taylor knew Austin Free, who was with Basilica and other friends, but did not know Basilica.

Police attempted to obtain video footage from the Black Sheep, but proprietor Leo Roche told them the camera system had malfunctioned, according to the affidavit. Taylor, who was 20 years old at the time, told police he had been drinking Jagermeister liqueur during the golf tournament but had no alcohol at the pub.

Patrons of the bar reported seeing a bigger man (Basilica) repeatedly punching a smaller man (Taylor) in the head and face. One witness said Basilica ran across the patio and threw "the most violent punch he had ever seen" at Taylor.

A woman, who was eating lunch on the patio with a friend, said Taylor and Basilica had come out of the bar onto the patio in a group of five or six men and appeared to be friends. Then, she said, it looked like Basilica gave Taylor "a nipple twist" and Taylor jumped back. She said she turned to say something to her friend and heard a crash. When she looked back, she said Taylor was on the ground and Basilica threw about four punches at Taylor's head and face as Taylor attempted to hit Basilica. She said there were tables and chairs knocked all over the patio and that Basilica stopped hitting Taylor and ran from the scene when a man came out of the bar and told Basilica to stop before he killed Taylor.

Retired correction officer Walter Edwards said he saw the altercation through the window from his table at the nearby Dunkin' Donuts. He told police it appeared the two men were engaged in "horse play." He said Taylor pushed Basilica, who pushed him back. When Taylor pushed Basilica a second time, Basilica began throwing punches in rapid succession, "in windmill fashion," at Taylor, according to Edwards.

Edwards said as he moved toward the fight to intervene, Basilica punched Taylor solidly in the face, causing Taylor to fall backward, striking his head on a table or chair before falling to the ground.

k.florin@theday.com

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