By Keith Eddings and Doug Moser, Staff Writers
Kevin McCarron, a graduate of Central Catholic High School where he was an honor student and captain of the 2006-07 hockey team, was making a slow recovery in a New York City hospital yesterday after a beating that left him unconscious with a fractured skull on a Greenwich Village street.
McCarron, 24, of Andover, was beaten outside a pizza restaurant at the edge of Washington Square Park and the New York University campus at 5:15 Sunday morning after an argument with another group of seven men, according to police and news reports.
It was not known what caused the fight, but it may have been the result of someone sitting on the car McCarron and friends had driven into the city.
Two young Brooklyn men were arrested and charged in connection with the beating, police said.
McCarron had been at the restaurant with a group of eight others that included his older brother, Patrick, a 2005 graduate of Central Catholic who also was injured but not as seriously.
New York City police Det. Brian Sessa said last night that Kevin McCarron is expected to recover, but did not elaborate about his condition.
He is the son of Timothy and Kathleen McCarron of Andover. Yesterday, they and other family members were at Weill Cornell Medical Center in Manhattan, where he was in the intensive care unit. They declined to be interviewed.
After graduating from Central Catholic in 2007, McCarron earned a bachelor’s degree in public and community service studies at Providence College in Providence, R.I. In Providence, McCarron also volunteered for several non-profit agencies, including the Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence and the Wanskuck Boys and Girls Club.
After graduating from Providence, he went to work for a small stipend at YouthBuild Lawrence, a Haverhill Street non-profit that provides education and training to high school drop-outs.
“He was a teacher’s assistant, but he took on so many more roles than that,” said April Lyskowsky, director of the agency. “He was a good role model and a mentor. He took every opportunity, working with our young people, directing them to look at life in a different way, pointing them in a positive direction. He was a good listener.”
“He taught me how to carry myself right, to believe in myself,” said Emily Quinones a 24-year-old Lawrence woman who credited McCarron with getting her to the end of a high school equivalency program after she dropped out of Lawrence High School, had two children and was left with “no place to go.”
“He used to call me every day to ask me if I’m studying,” said Quinones, a student in a course in leadership and entrepreneurship that McCarron, taught at YouthBuild Lawrence last year. “When I wouldn’t go to school, he’d call. When it was time (to take a test), he’d call me.”
Hatem Farsakh, 24, pleaded not guilty to gang assault and attempted murder in Manhattan Criminal Court and was released Tuesday after his family posted bail. Sherif Rizk, 22, was being held yesterday pending an arraignment scheduled for last night.
The attack — which was captured on video tape by a witness and posted on several news sites yesterday — stunned McCarron’s colleagues and friends in Andover and Lawrence, including one who described him as a “young man that does not look for trouble.”
“Thinks of others first, very close to his family, always has a smile on his face,” said Paul Satori, whose son, also named Paul, worked as a co-director with McCarron of a youth sports camp in Byfield for several summers. “Gives and gets respect from everyone he comes in contact with.”
Besides serving as captain of the hockey team at Central Catholic High School, McCarron played on the school’s golf and baseball teams and was a member of the National Honor Society.
Skating for Central Catholic in his senior year, McCarron was named an Eagle-Tribune hockey all-star and received a Boston Bruins Sportsmanship Award. He skated as a forward and led the team in assists, with 39, and also scored 13 goals and occasionally skated defense alongside another brother, Brendan, who graduated from the school in 2009.
Ben Cantwell, who graduated from Central Catholic with McCarron in 2007, recalled wondering as a freshman whether he should try out for the hockey team, which is a hockey powerhouse among Massachusetts high schools.
“He told me I could do it,’’ Cantwell said. “He is always taking care of people.’’
“He was enthusiastic, he was energetic, he was dedicated to the mission of the school, which is to serve, especially the least favored,” said Andrew Nikonchuk, a science teacher who tutored the Central Catholic hockey team McCarron led. “He had a great attitude about learning and being a member of the community and making other people’s lives better. It was an everyday thing. It was all the time.”