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Trial date set for Darien actor’s civil suit for bar fight

August 3, 2018

STAMFORD — A trial date has been set for the case of a Darien actor suing the man charged with attacking him with a beer glass in a bar nearly two years ago.

Matthew Porretta, 53, of Darien, filed a civil suit last March against Christopher Aikler, 45, of Norwalk, and Steven J. Palmer, owner of Chez Ernie’s Cafe in Darien where the assault occurred. According to documents filed in state Superior Court in Stamford, the case is scheduled to go to trial in June 2019.

According to police, Aikler struck Porretta in the face with a beer glass at the Tokeneke Road bar on Dec. 18, 2016. Police said Porretta did not provoke the attack, which caused him to fall backward onto a table.

A Southbury man was also injured in the fight when he was punched in the face.

Aikler was thrown out of the bar and left before police arrived, but met with officers investigating the incident a few days later.

Aikler was later charged with second- and third-degree assault, as well as breach of peace. According to court documents, he is awaiting a trial date for the charges.

Police said Porretta suffered cuts to his left eye and cheek, a facial fracture and injuries to his spine and nasal septum. He also needed emergency surgery to save his left eye and is still at risk of losing vision in the eye.

Porretta said he did not know Aikler and only remembers waking up on the ground covered in blood. He said he’s been left with scarring and has lost wages because of the incident.

Porretta works as an actor and has appeared in the 1993 movie “Robin Hood: Men in Tights.” According to IMDB, his last role was in the TV series “I Love You...But I Lied” in 2016.

According to court documents, Porretta’s attorney, Michael Burrell, previously offered Aikler $800,000 to settle the claims.

erin.kayata@stamfordadvocate.com; (203) 964-2265; @erin_kayata

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