NEW YORK – Wake Forest University has placed an assistant basketball coach on leave after police said he beat a New York City tourist who later died.
Athletic director Ron Wellman said in a statement Friday that he spoke with assistant Jamill Jones and the coach agreed that the decision was appropriate under the circumstances.
Meanwhile, the parents of the Florida man who died say that they do not agree with the coach of sympathy. Bob and Donna Has told NBC’s “Today” show that Jones would have tried to save their son, Sandor Szabo’s life after punching him early Sunday.
“If you’re this good father, son, husband, why not try to get him to the hospital and see if you could save his life?” Bob Has said.
Police say Szabo is still on Jones’ SUV window, apparently thinking the car was his Uber ride.
A person familiar with the investigation told The Associated Press that Szabo may have been drunkenly knocking on the car windows for Jones allegedly confronted him. The person who spoke on condition of anonymity because the person was not allowed to speak publicly.
Police say Jones came, beat Szabo and sped off. Szabo fell and hit his head. He never regained consciousness and was taken off life support Tuesday.
The city medical examiner’s office said Friday that Szabo’s death was a homicide caused by blunt impact to his head.
Jones, 35, of Kernersville, North Carolina, turned himself in to police Thursday and was arraigned on a felony sexual assault charges. He pleaded not guilty, and his next appearance is scheduled for October. 2.
Jones, lawyer, Alain Massena, told the AP that the death was “a tragic accident, and Mr. Jones and his family their deepest condolences and their thoughts and prayers to the Szabo family.”
Donna Has told “Today”, “I’m sorry, your condolences are a little late.”
Szabo, 35, was visiting from Boca Raton, Florida, where he lived with his brother.
Szabo was vice-president for sales at What If Media Group, a digital media company, based in Fort Lee, New Jersey.
“He was always cheerful, positive, sweet and caring,” the company said in a Facebook post. “He was fun to be with, interesting, and always interested. He was really a good person.”
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