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Two men charged in assault of Clarkson lacrosse player


POTSDAM — Potsdam Village Police have charged two men with breaking the jaw of a Clarkson University lacrosse player during an altercation early Saturday morning.

Bryan A. Bicknell, 20, 342 West Parishville Rd., Parishville, and Dakota J. Vallance, 18, 399 Buckton Rd., Winthrop, were each charged with a felony count of second-degree assault. They were arraigned by Acting Potsdam Village Justice Margaret I. Garner late Thursday afternoon and released under the supervision of the probation department.

It is alleged that at about 1:52 a.m. Saturday the two men attacked Donald JF Whelley, 21, on Maple Street in the village, leaving him with a broken jaw, orbital fracture and facial lacerations, according to court documents.

Daniel R. Netter found Mr. Whelley in front of the former Honda dealership on Maple Street trying to sit up after being assaulted.

Mr. Netter had been walking with a friend toward Swan Landing apartments when he said he saw two males running from the area in which he found Mr. Whelley, toward the Stewart’s Shoppe on Maple Street.

“I heard one of them say something along the lines of ‘he’s still out,’ or ‘he’s still asleep,’ and they were looking over their shoulders towards Kinney’s,” Mr. Netter said in his statement to police.

Mr. Netter said he assumed the two men had been up to no good when they spotted him and his friend and changed the direction they were heading in, running back behind the Stewart’s Shoppe. Mr. Netter said he headed in the direction the men ran from, found Mr. Whelley and called 911.

Mr. Whelley was bleeding from the head, and Mr. Netter said the emergency dispatcher advised him to sit him down and apply pressure to his wound while waiting for first responders to get to the scene.

“Once he sat down I tried to use a piece of his shirt that had been ripped to put pressure on his head but he was kind of pushing my hand away,” Mr. Netter told police. “While I was on the phone with 911, I saw three kids walking towards us from the Stewart’s.”

When Mr. Netter approached the three individuals, he asked them if they knew the assailants, and told them he had called 911 because “they almost just killed a kid.” He told police said they told him they knew the two men who ran from the scene and told him he “did the right thing” by calling 911 and walked back toward the Clarkson Campus without further discussion.

Police did not make clear the relationship between the assailants and Whelley and said they did not have Whelley’s address available.

According to the Clarkson lacrosse website roster and his Facebook profile page, Mr. Whelley, a sophomore at the college, is a native of Catonsville, MD.

Bicknell and Vallance were release under probation supervision and are scheduled to return to court at 9:30 a.m. Sept. 6.

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