NIAGARA FALLS — ( Niagara Gazette) A Town of Niagara man has been arrested and charged in connection with last week's attack on Niagara Falls Junior Welterweight boxer Nick Casal.
Michael P. Vicki, 30, of Portland Street, appeared in Town of Niagara Court on Friday where he pleaded not guilty to a charge of first-degree assault. Town of Niagara Police Chief James Suitor said Vicki is being held without bail.
"Mr. Vicki came in for an interview this morning and after that interview he was charged with first degree assault, which is a B felony," Suitor said.
Vicki's arrest follows an altercation last Saturday on Portland Street where Casal suffered severe injuries after being hit several times by an unknown object. Police believe Casal was knocked unconscious during the assault, but regained consciousness and was driven from the crime scene to his home. He was later taken to ECMC where he was treated for four serious wounds, including an almost foot-long gash on the side of his head.
Hours after the assault, Casal's father, Ray, told the AP that his son suffered, in addition to the gashes on his head, a chipped tooth and severely swollen, but not broken, arm. Ray Casal said his son was struck 15 times in the head and body.
Initial reports, posted on boxing blogs and websites on Sunday, suggested that Casal had been the victim of a "gang assault" committed by "thugs" wielding "golf clubs" in Buffalo.
Suitor and police investigators later said they believed the attack involved only Casal and one assailant.
On Friday, Suitor said police still aren't sure what provoked the attack.
"(Vicki) just said Mr. Casal came over and they engaged in a fight," Suitor said.
Deputies from the Niagara County Sheriff's Office Crime Scene Unit and officers from the Town of Niagara executed a search warrant at Vicki's home on Wednesday afternoon.
"We were unable to locate a weapon and we still don't know what the weapon was, other than it appears to have been a round object," Suitor said.
The assault came as Casal was preparing to appear at Seneca Niagara Casino for one of the biggest fights of his career. The June 29 event was to be held against Russian Provodnikov for the World Boxing Organization Inter-Continental Title. It was planned to be the main event bout for the evening and was scheduled to be broadcast on ESPN2's nationally televised boxing card, Friday Night Fights.
The entire fight card has now been cancelled.