Florida

Wake Forest basketball coach enters plea in punching death of Florida man in New York

UPDATE: On Thursday, Wake Forest University assistant basketball coach Jamill Jones, an assistant to Coach Danny Manning, turned himself into Astoria police and was arrested, The New York Post reported. Jones, 35, was arraigned on a misdemeanor assault charge, pleaded not guilty, and was released Thursday night on his own recognizance, according to the Associated Press. Jones, who has been with Wake Forest since 2017, and who previously coached at Central Florida, Florida Gold Coast and Virginia Commonwealth, has a court date on Oct. 2.

Sandor Szabo, a Boca Raton marketing professional, was in New York for the wedding of his stepsister when he made a mistake that cost him his life.

His family believes that Szabo, 35, had hailed an Uber from the Queens hotel where his brother was staying so that he could get back to his hotel in Long Island City just after 1 a.m. Sunday.

His cellphone had died so when he saw the SUV parked along the sidewalk he “banged on the window,” figuring the man inside was his Uber driver, The New York Daily News reported.

It wasn’t.

According to New York police, the driver, identified on Thursday by police as Wake Forest University assistant basketball coach Jamill Jones, punched Szabo in the face. The Boca man fell backward, slamming his head on the sidewalk.

Szabo was on life support through Monday but died on Tuesday, according to What If Media Group, the Florida company he worked for. The company, which employs about 25 people, released a statement to WPBF ABC 25 News:

“Sandor passed away today. He had worked for our company, What If Media Group, for almost 2 years, but has been a friend of the company for many years before that. He was well-known and well-respected in the digital marketing industry. Sandor was a super outgoing, friendly, and incredibly smart businessman. He was always upbeat, positive, kind and caring. He was fun to be with, interesting, and always interested,” the statement read.

The company’s response echoed that of Dominik Szabo, who told the Daily News on Monday while his brother fought for his life, “He’s the most loving and kind individual anyone could have as a friend.”

The New York Police department released a surveillance video that shows a bald man in what appears to be a white button-down shirt, walking away from an SUV. The police believe that man is their suspect.

Follow @HowardCohen on Twitter.
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