Wake Forest University assistant basketball coach charged in death of NYC tourist
A Wake Forest University assistant basketball coach accused of punching and killing a New York City tourist surrendered to police Thursday, according to NBC New York.
Jamill Jones of Kernersville was charged Thursday morning with misdemeanor assault, NBC New York reported.
Jones, who is an assistant basketball coach, is accused of punching Sandor Szabo, 35, outside a hotel in Long Island City early last Sunday morning, causing Szabo to fall, hit his head on the pavement and lose consciousness, NBC New York reported.
During an interview that aired Friday on the Today show, his mother was emotional.
“It’s just devastating,” his mother, Donna Kent, said through tears. “We were just so lucky that God gave him to us for this long.”
Szabo later died as a result of his injuries at a New York hospital. According to the , Szabo worked as a vice president of sales at What If Media Group in Boca Raton, Florida. He may have lived in the Triangle from 2005 through 2009 while attending DeVry University, according to his LinkedIn profile.
The LinkedIn page also lists Szabo as a consultant for Robert Kent and Associates, which he listed as being located in the Raleigh-Durham area.
According to NBC New York, Szabo had knocked on Jones’ car window, mistaking the vehicle for his Uber ride. Jones then got out and punched him in the face before fleeing the scene.
Wake Forest University said Thursday night that they had just learned of Jones’ arrest and would release a statement at a later time.
Szabo’s parents said they were “devastated” by his death.
“We were just hoping for a miracle that he would come through,” Bob Kent, his step-father, said during the interview on Today. “We always had someone holding his hands to see if he would just squeeze to let us know he was there.”
Speaking through an attorney, the Jones family sent its “deepest condolences and sympathies” to the Szabo family. A statement by the Jones family characterized the death as “accidental” and said Jamil Jones is a son and the father of two young children.
“I used to be a mother of two as well,” Donna Kent said. “I’m sorry, but your condolences are too late.”
Bob Kent asked why Jones didn’t try to get help for Szabo after the man was struck and knocked to the pavement.