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Oxford man arrested for attacking award-winning novelist

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Michael Mott was arrested for assaulting a novelist. (New Haven police photo) Michael Mott was arrested for assaulting a novelist. (New Haven police photo)
NEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) -

A man from Oxford has been charged with assaulting an award-winning novelist.

Michael Mott, 34, was arrested for attacking Colum McCann on June 28 outside of the Study Hotel on Chapel Street in New Haven.

Police said they and EMTs were called to the hotel after McCann was punched in the face.

Eyewitnesses said McCann tried to help a woman involved in a dispute in the hotel lobby.

Mott and his wife had checked in earlier that day, according to detectives. They said the couple left for drinks and returned a few hours later.

Hotel staff informed them that the credit card Mott used did not have the funds to pay for the room. Eyewitnesses told police that the issue prompted the dispute between Mott and his wife.

McCann allegedly witnessed the argument and asked Mott's wife if she needed help. She told him she was OK.

At some point, police said Mott attacked McCann outside, causing significant facial injuries. McCann, who was knocked unconscious, had to be taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital for treatment.

Police said Mott confessed to attacking McCann, but refused to give them any details.

A warrant was later issued on probable cause and police arrested Mott when he turned himself in on July 7.

Mott was charged with second-degree breach of peace and second-degree assault.

"This was a particularly disturbing case because the Mr. McCann was specifically targeted after he tried helping another victim," said Chief Dean Esserman, New Haven Police Department. "We appreciate the valuable assistance of our officers, detectives, the Yale University Police Department and the public."

McCann is known for such works as Let the Great World Spin and TransAtlantic. He's won the Rooney Prize and the National Book Award.

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