Man arrested in assault on National Book Award winner Colum McCann


Police in New Haven, Conn., have arrested Michael Mott, the man wanted on suspicion of assaulting Colum McCann, a winner of the National Book Award. There had been a warrant out for Mott’s arrest; he turned himself in Monday night and confessed, New Haven police said.

McCann, who won the 2009 National Book Award for his novel “Let the Great World Spin,” was in New Haven on June 28 to participate in a conference.

According to reports, McCann was at a hotel called the Study at Yale where Mott and his wife were also staying. After their credit card was turned down at the front desk, the couple began arguing. McCann asked the wife if she was going to be all right, and she said she would.


After McCann stepped outside, he was allegedly assaulted by Mott, who is said to have attacked him from behind. McCann was punched, thrown to the ground and knocked unconscious. An off-duty medical technician called an ambulance, which took him to Yale-New Haven Hospital for “significant” injuries.

McCann’s injuries included a broken cheekbone, three shattered teeth, two black eyes and, he told the N.Y. Times, “a slightly wounded spirit.”

He has since been released.

After being arrested, Mott declined to elaborate further about the incident. He was also charged with second-degree breach of peace for what they describe as a related altercation with his wife, police said.

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