Buffalo activist Martin Gugino out of hospital four weeks after cops shoved him, to recover in secret place

The 75-year-old was pushed away by two police officers, causing him to hit his head on the sidewalk and suffer a serious injury

                            Buffalo activist Martin Gugino out of hospital four weeks after cops shoved him, to recover in secret place
(Mike Desmond/WBFO)

BUFFALO, NEW YORK: A 75-year-old man who suffered fractured skull and brain injury after being shoved by two Buffalo police officers during a Black Lives Matter protest almost a month ago has been discharged from the hospital. His lawyer Kelly Zarcone said that Martin Gugino won’t go his home and will be recovering at a secret place to protect his privacy. “Martin wants to thank the entire hospital staff for their exceptional dedication and professionalism. He received truly outstanding care and for that, he is grateful,” Zarcone said on Monday, June 29, as reported by ABC News.

Earlier, Zarcone had said that Gugino would not be returning to his residence after “concerning and threatening messages and one letter” delivered to his home that caused fear over his safety. “It is not clear that these are credible death threats,” the attorney said two weeks ago, The Daily Mail reported.

According to reports, Gugino - a cancer sufferer - was at the hospital since June 4 after being allegedly pushed by two cops - Robert McCabe and Aaron Torgalski. The elderly man’s skull was fractured when the back of his head hit the sidewalk. The viral video of Gugino, who is an activist and a member of the Western New York Peace Center, showed him heavily bleeding on the pavement before being taken to a hospital. The footage was reportedly taken by a reporter from local radio station WBFO.

After the incident, McCabe and Torgalski were suspended without pay. They were also booked on charges of second-degree assault. They are expected to face up to seven years in prison if found guilty of the Class D felony. Both the officers have pleaded not guilty, and have been released from jail without bail to appear back in court on July 20.

The alleged assault by the two officers was criticized by District Attorney John Flynn, who while announcing the charges in early June said they “crossed the line” and “violated the law”. Flynn added that Gugino was just “a harmless 75-year-old man”. The charges were welcomed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who said that the video of the alleged assault had made him “physically sick”.  “I was sick to my stomach... it was the same feeling I had for 90 of the past nights when I got the death tolls for coronavirus. I was physically sick to my stomach,” he added.

However, President Donald Trump did not seem in favor of Gugino as he suggested the victim “could be an Antifa provocateur”. “Buffalo protester shoved by Police could be an Antifa provocateur. 75-year old Martin Gugino was pushed away after appearing to scan police communications in order to blackout the equipment. I watched, he fell harder than was pushed. Was aiming scanner. Could be a setup?” he said on Twitter.

However, his comment was criticized by many including Cuomo who deemed it as “reprehensible” and “wholly unacceptable”. Twitter users also slammed the Republican leader with one commenting: “He approached the police calmly. They assaulted him, pushing him until he fell and as he lay in the street bleeding from the base of his skull they walked away. He was hospitalized for exercising his 1st Amendment rights. That may be Trump’s America. It’s not ours.”

“Really bad take, Spanky, even for you. That was the shove seen around the world, and you're attacking the 75-year-old man who was bleeding all over the ground? Keep it up...I see your pathetic poll numbers dropping even further,” wrote another one. Gugino’s attorney Zarcone also denied his association with Antifa.

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