6 held in attack on man at show

Victim underwent emergency surgery

Six defendants were arraigned in Attleboro District Court on assault and battery charges related to a fight at a concert on Sunday. Six defendants were arraigned in Attleboro District Court on assault and battery charges related to a fight at a concert on Sunday. (Ben Wolford for The Boston Globe)
By Ben Wolford
Globe Correspondent / July 30, 2011

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ATTLEBORO - Six Mansfield residents were charged yesterday with beating a man at a Tim McGraw concert Sunday, an incident authorities described as a six-on-one brawl that began over a girl and forced the victim to undergo emergency surgery.

Michael Skehill, 19, of Westwood, was taken from the lawn of the Comcast Center in Mansfield to Boston Medical Center, where doctors induced a coma to help his breathing, removed his ruptured spleen, and treated him for several head injuries, Mark Donovan, assistant Bristol district attorney, said in court yesterday.

The six defendants, arraigned in Attleboro District Court on assault and battery charges, were all identified by concertgoers who “were disgusted and appalled by the brutality and unfairness of this fight,’’ Donovan said.

Perry M. DiMascio II, 20; Brendan C. McCulloch, 22; Michael J. Adams, 21; Kevin J. Anderson, 21; Shane A. Dos Santos, 20; and Daniel Morizio, 21, all of Mansfield, were ordered held on bails ranging from $2,500 to $10,000. A pretrial hearing is scheduled for Aug. 16.

After being taken out of the coma Monday, Skehill told investigators he had struck up a conversation with a girl about a tattoo on his arm. A man approached him and said, “You don’t want to do that,’’ a Mansfield Police report said.

“What are you gonna do about it?’’ Skehill responded, before being jumped from behind and attacked, the report said.

Attorneys for two of the defendants - McCulloch and Dos Santos - sought to distance their clients from the assault, saying they deny having ever punched or kicked Skehill.

Morizio’s father, who represented his son in court, said his son fought with Skehill but did not participate in the brunt of the melee that caused his injuries.

“My son did not go to the concert with these other individuals,’’ Michael Morizio said. “He had nothing to do with them. He was a bystander.’’

Witnesses interviewed later by investigators, however, identified all six suspects as participating in what one defense attorney described after the arraignment as a 20-second melee that, without video surveillance, will be difficult for prosecutors to separate participant from onlooker.

The witnesses said a crowd gathered as the assailants kneed Skehill in the torso and repeatedly punched and kicked him while he was on the ground trying to cover his face, police said.

Skehill’s parents spoke briefly after the arraignment and said they did not know the defendants and did not have an opinion about their charges.

“I’m very sad that there are such people out there, but our main concern, again, is for our son,’’ Martin Skehill said.

He said his son is a junior in college, and he has played football and rugby.

“He’s a fine young man,’’ Skehill said. “He’s a young man that any parent would be proud to be a father of.’’

Skehill’s condition was unknown late yesterday, but he was said to be improving.

“He is recovering, although he is, according to what I’m being told, in a lot of pain,’’ said Gregg Miliote, a spokesman for the Bristol district attorney’s office.

Skehill went to the country music concert Sunday with two friends, who told police they were tailgating and drinking in the parking lot before the show. Before entering the concert grounds, the two separated from Skehill and did not see him the rest of the night.

Mansfield Police Chief Arthur M. O’Neill said “alcohol is the source of a lot of troubles’’ and played some role in Sunday’s brawl, though it was unclear to what extent. He said the Comcast Center has rigorous policies about drinking and preventing minors from obtaining alcohol.

“It’s kind of sad to see six young people get themselves into this type of difficulty,’’ O’Neill said.

Ben Wolford can be reached at