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Boston College has suspended a school football player after he and a friend were charged with beating a homeless man unconscious, an attack that prosecutors say only stopped after a passerby shielded the man with her body.
Senior Craig Parsons, of Newton, and Anthony Varrichione, of Medway, who recently graduated from Marist College in New York, were charged Wednesday with allegedly kicking and punching a 50-year-old man in the early morning of Jan. 26 in Allston. They both pleaded not guilty.
“As disturbing as this attack was, it also showed the courage of passersby who refused to look the other way when they saw someone being hurt,” Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley said in a statement. “That bravery and compassion is in stark contrast to the cruel and craven nature of this assault.”
A spokesman for the Suffolk district attorney's office says the victim was hospitalized for three days. He says the charges stem from a grand jury investigation where multiple witnesses identified Parsons and Varrichione, who went to high school together.
Parsons, who was suspended and barred from campus less than a month before graduation, is also charged with witness intimidation. Prosecutors say that on four separate occasions he instructed a person he knew not to cooperate with the investigation.
Boston College spokesman Jack Dunn says Parsons' future at the school will depend on the outcome of the case.
Attorneys representing Parsons and Varrichione say the men are good kids, from good families, who were wrongfully identified.
Both men are due back in court June 4.
With reporting by The Associated Press and the WBUR Newsroom.
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