The sister of a 23-year-old New York man killed in a bizarre incident at a Boston pub spoke out today, saying the family is “a mess” in the wake of their loved one’s death.
“We don’t know what to do with ourselves,” said Jennifer DiMaria, 25, whose brother Michael died after he was hit in the neck with flying shards of glass at The Lansdowne pub Saturday. “My parents are walking around like zombies, my grandparents are devastated… We’ll miss him so much.”
Jennifer DiMaria spoke to the Globe from her family home in Hicksville, N.Y., a few hours after prosecutors described the circumstances of her brother’s death.
Suffolk Assistant District Attorney Ian Polumbam said in court that an argument "over something trivial'' set off a chain of events inside the nightclub that led to Michael DiMaria’s death. Authorities said today that DiMaria was an innocent bystander and had no role in the argument that ended up costing him his life.
DiMaria was one of three people struck by flying glass after Hector Guardiola allegedly tossed a heavy beer mug toward a man he had been arguing with inside the nightclub, according to prosecutors.
Authorities said DiMaria and the two other victims may have been acquainted with the man who argued with Guardiola, but they said none of the three victims had any role in the confrontation.
Polumbaum said the heavy beer mug tossed by Guardiola broke. DiMaria was struck in the throat, cutting through his jugular vein.
Guardiola, 25, of South Boston, today pleaded not guilty to charges of manslaughter and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon in Roxbury Municipal Court. Bail was set at $75,000 cash.
DiMaria was a 2009 graduate of Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn., and had been working for a Wall Street firm, his sister said.
According to David O'Brien, father of Danielle O'Brien, a friend of DiMaria's who was injured by glass shards, the trip to Boston was intended as a get-together among former college classmates.
His daughter told him that one member of their group of five had left their table at the popular bar to go to the bathroom and, along the way, inadvertently brushed into Guardiola. The two men had heated words but moments later, the friend returned to the table, not mentioning the incident.
Then, in an instant, glass shards were flying everywhere. O'Brien said his daughter was hit in the shoulder and face. Another friend Andy Britto, was struck in the head. Dimaria, bleeding profusely, was rushed out of the bar and to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, where he died less than 30 minutes later.
Polumbaum said in court that DiMaria was struck in the throat, cutting through his jugular vein.
According to his attorney, Al Hutton, Guardiola has worked at Beth Israel as an animal caretaker for the last three years and currently lives with his girlfriend in South Boston. Hutton said his client was arrested for drunken driving several years ago, but has no history of violence.
Two people who identified themselves as Guardiola's siblings, but declined to provide their names, said today they are shocked and confused by the charges their brother is now facing.
"I don’t know what's going,'' said his sister. "It just doesn’t make sense what they are saying happened.''
Guardiola faces 20 years imprisonment if convicted and given the maximum sentence.
John R. Ellement of the Globe Staff contributed to this report.
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