Newly Released Video Captures Moment Tourist Was Punched by Man He Mistook for Uber Driver
The tourist, Sandor Szabo, died after the punch in the incident from last August.
Video of a deadly 2018 encounter that left a young marketing executive dead has been released for the first time.
Sandor Szabo, 35, of Boca Raton, Florida, was leaving his stepsister’s wedding reception in the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens, New York, in August.
Szabo is visibly intoxicated in the video and seen staggering into the street. According to police, he was looking for his Uber, knocking on several car windows, including the one driven by the accused assailant, who happened to be the assistant basketball coach at Wake Forest University.
Jamill Jones is seen running across the street in pursuit of Szabo after he knocks, punching him in the face and knocking him to the ground. He then walked away and left the scene without helping the victim.
Szabo died four days later from a traumatic head injury he sustained after he hit the ground.
Jones turned himself in and has pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge.
At the time, his lawyer Alain Massena spoke on his behalf. "The Jones family sends their deepest condolences to the Szabo family," his attorney said.
Jones' new attorney Christopher Renfroe added Thursday, “We have great empathy for the Szabo family’s loss. We have no comment at this time on the ongoing legal process.”
But Szabo's parents want the charge against Jones to be upgraded.
"It was of course, so disturbing, and knowing that that was Sandor’s last moments," his mother told Inside Edition. "This isn’t right; they are refusing to reverse their charge."
The victim's family believes the new video helps their case that Szabo was not aggressive in his encounter with the basketball coach, as Jones claimed.
"There is nothing like losing your child, it is like losing part of your heart, the pain never goes away," his mom said.
The Queens District Attorney's Office told Inside Edition in a statement: "We have met with the family, listened to the family extensively on several occasions. We understand their grief and that they have lost a loved one. In prosecuting this matter, we have painstakingly reviewed both the evidence and the law. We recognize their deep frustration, but we must prosecute each and every case before us on the law. As important as the opinion of the family is we cannot make our prosecutorial decisions based solely on the wishes of the family - we must adhere to our oaths. We will continue to aggressively prosecute this matter through the framework of the New York State penal law."
In another statement on behalf of the Szabo family, Douglas S. Curran, partner at Pierce Bainbridge, said: “The Queens DA has had this video evidence in its possession since last August, but still decided in just a matter of days that it would charge Jones with a simple misdemeanor. From the beginning, the DA’s office failed to perform a full investigation, and instead accepted Jones’s version of events, despite clear video evidence to the contrary. The prosecutors got this hopelessly wrong. The family sincerely hopes that releasing this video publicly will force the DA’s office to take action.”
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