Man accused of attack at Burger King faces judge - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Man accused of attack at Burger King faces judge

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Stephen Barnicle (WFSB) Stephen Barnicle (WFSB)
WETHERSFIELD, CT (WFSB) -

A man accused of attacking a young mother at a Wethersfield Burger King faced a judge on Tuesday.

Stephen Barnicle stood silently in court on Tuesday afternoon, but a Wethersfield mother said he attacked her on Monday inside the fast food restaurant.

She said she has the Burger King employees to thank.

“If they didn't wind up taking him off I would have been dead right now,” said Darlena Smith.

She claims Barnicle attacked her inside of the Burger King on the Silas Deane Highway. She said Barnicle was standing less than two inches away from her inside the restaurant.

“I said ‘can you please move, I feel uncomfortable with you standing next to me’,” Smith exclusively told Eyewitness News.

She said Barnicle refused and continued to invade her private space. She tried to walk away toward the soda machine, and said “he reached over me to get the ice for his drink and after he reached out me I reached over him to get the straws and the lid for my sodas.”

That is when she said she was attacked.

“He just started pounding me in the face, pushed me down and put me into a choke hold. He started kneeing me in my side,” Smith said.

In court, 60-year-old Barnicle, of Cromwell, has worked as a programmer for Aetna for 27 years and has no criminal record.

However, despite his background, Smith said Barnicle was filled with rage on Monday.

“Everybody in there literally had to go in there and get him off of me, because he wasn't stopping,” she said.

Barnicle was released from custody and he is facing three charges, including felony strangulation.

An attorney in court said Barnicle claims he was defending himself.

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