By Rick Pfeiffer
Niagara Gazette — LOCKPORT — The man accused in a vicious attack on Falls boxer Nick Casal has two weeks to decide if he wants to make a deal with prosecutors and go to trial on charges that include first-degree assault.
Niagara County Court Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas gave Michael Vicki until Jan. 4 to make up his mind whether he wants to plead guilty to a charge of attempted first-degree assault and face a maximum prison term of seven years.
If Vicki, 30, of Portland Street, rejects the plea, he faces a trial on Jan. 28 on charges of first-degree assault and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon which would expose him to more than seven years behind bars if he was convicted on those charges.
He is also facing charges in an unrelated case, involving insurance fraud and the possible intimidation of a witness.
Casal’s father, Ray, has said his son was attacked as he went to leave Vicki's home on May 12. The elder Casal said Vicki is the ex-boyfriend of his son's girlfriend.
Police said Casal was hit several times by an unknown object and knocked to the ground. Investigators said evidence at Vicki’s home indicated that Casal had lost a significant amount of blood.
No weapon has been recovered in the case and Vicki has told investigators he doesn’t remember what he hit Casal with. Vicki said he and Casal had an altercation after the boxer came to his home.
Vicki told investigators that Casal was the aggressor and he had no choice but to defend himself. He also insisted that he called police following the incident and he received medical treatment at a local hospital for injuries he suffered.
In addition to the deep gashes on his head, Casal suffered a chipped tooth and a severely swollen, but not broken, arm. Reports indicate that Casal was struck 15 times in the head and body.
First Assistant District Attorney Doreen Hoffmann told Farkas that Casal suffered "brain bruising" and "a brain bleed" as a result of the attack. She said that while Casal's injuries have healed, he has not been able to resume his boxing career.