Farewell Fight; melee erupts in final DWC hoop game; 3 arrested

NASHUA – On Saturday, just a day after league officials told the Daniel Webster College men’s basketball program that five of its eight conference wins were being taken away due the the presence of an ineligible player, the final game in the program’s history erupted into a sizeable brawl that landed three people, including two players, under police arrest.

Nashua police said later Saturday that Officer John Hannigan, who was working a routine security detail at the college’s Mario Vagge Gym, was forced to call for help when players and fans began to surround him as he tried to detain a DWC player who was allegedly assaulting a player from the visiting Southern Vermont College team.

Some two dozen patrol officers rushed to the University Drive campus, and once order was restored, Eagles junior guards Marquise Caudill, 22, and Antwaun Boyd, 23, were in custody, as was 43-year-old Elizabeth Morris, a Malden, Mass., resident, police said.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether Morris is related to Eagles head coach Donald Morris Jr., but a source close to Donald Morris confirmed that she is not his wife.

Caudill, of 20 Park Ave., South Hadley, Mass., faces the most serious charges, which include one Class B felony count of second-degree assault, police said.

He also faces one count each of simple assault, criminal threatening, and disorderly conduct, all of which are Class A misdemeanors.

Caudill was booked at police headquarters then transported to Valley Street jail in Manchester, where he was held on $50,000 cash bail. Arraignment is pending in Nashua district court, police said.

Boyd, of 95 Morgan St., Apt. 5C in Stamford, Conn., was charged with one count of disorderly conduct, Class A misdemeanor.

Morris, of 150 Hawthorne St. in Malden, faces one count of obstruction of government administration, a Class A misdemeanor that accuses her of getting between Hannigan and Caudill while Hannigan was attempting to arrest Caudill, police said.

Boyd was charged, police said, because he "appeared to be inciting an already hostile crowd that had surrounded Officer Hannigan."

Boyd and Morris were booked and later released on bail pending their arraignments.

No dates were given for the three suspects’ arraignments. But if Caudill wasn’t able to make bail, he’d likely be arraigned Tuesday in the Nashua court via video conference from the jail.

Various brief videos posted on social media and other Websites start out showing players from both teams in a cluster standing over a Southern Vermont player. Referees, blowing their whistles, approach the group when a DWC player wearing No. 4 – Caudill’s number, according to the team’s roster – slugs a Vermont player, who falls to the floor.

Caudill appears to swing at someone else, then, as seen in the video and described by police, he "proceeds to stomp the downed opposing player."

Seeing that, police said, Hannigan attempted to intervene and arrest Caudill, at which point Caudill allegedly threatened Hannigan. At about the same time, a woman later identified as Morris put herself between Caudill and Hannigan, "in essence preventing (Hannigan) from being able to make the arrest," police said.

Backup officers, numbering about 25 in all, police said, arrived moments later and began the process of dispersing the crowd and assisting Hannigan with his arrests.

Once the crowd was dispersed, "the entire situation de-escalated," police said. Caudill, Boyd and Morris were then escorted out of the gym and transported to police headquarters.

Dean Shalhoup can be reached at 594-1256, dshalhoup@nashuatelegraph.com or@Telegraph_DeanS.