Charges against Post 53 EMT dismissed
Charges against an 18-year-old Post 53 Emergency Medical Technician who treated an injured female at an underage drinking party in Darien were dismissed Thursday, his attorney confirmed to The Darien Times.
Mark Sherman, the Stamford criminal defense attorney representing EMT Nicholas Branca, said his client felt both vindicated and validated by the dismissal of his case.
“He’s grateful to the court and State’s Attorney for their compassion, discretion and commending Nicholas for thinking of the victim before himself, unlike the other kids who scattered when police arrived,” Sherman said.
“It’s extremely rare that cases are dismissed at their arraignment, but, as we argued, sometimes police just get it wrong. Nick never committed a crime and should have never been arrested. He showed integrity and character that night. He can now put this behind him,” Sherman said.
Darien EMS-Post 53 provides the town of Darien with emergency medical services, while providing local high school students with an opportunity to serve their community. The volunteers of Post 53 staff two fully-equipped state-of-the-art ambulances, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
The initial incident
On Saturday, Feb. 15, just before midnight, Darien officers responded to a Half Mile Road address based on a third party 911 call that a minor female had fallen down a flight of stairs and had suffered a head injury.
Darien Police arrested the nanny at the home, Deborah Hope, and Branca at the time of the incident.
Also found, according to police, was a note indicating that the nanny, Hope, was aware that a party was taking place at which minors would be consuming alcohol.
A female at the home appeared to be injured and was being treated by Branca. Because police at the time determined the injured female had been moved from the place she originally fell, officers said they determined Branca had acted recklessly and charged him with reckless endangerment.
The minor female was transported to Stamford Hospital for further evaluation.
Hope was charged with providing alcohol to minors.
At her hearing Tuesday, her attorney Stephen Seeger told reporters he felt police overreacted, and said his client had worked for the same family for years and has strong ties to the community.
At Branca’s hearing Thursday, the assistant state attorney advised the court that he stayed behind to assist the injured party when many others had fled, according to the court transcript.
Superior Court Judge Gary White granted Sherman’s motion to dismiss, Sherman said.