An Uber Misunderstanding May Just Send This Assistant Basketball Coach To Jail
A New York tourist has died after an unfortunate, but bizarre incident involving alcohol and a misunderstanding over an Uber ride. PEOPLE reports that 25-year-old Sandor Szabo died in an NYC hospital on Thursday after he was assaulted earlier in the week from a man who punched him causing him to fall and hit his head on the ground. According to family members, Szabo was visiting the city for a relative’s wedding. The marketing professional from Boca Raton, Florida was leaving his brother’s hotel in Queens early Sunday morning and looking for an Uber ride he had scheduled to take him back to the Long Island City hotel where he was staying. Witnesses say Szabo was drunkenly banging on car windows an approached an SUV and began to bang on the window to get the driver’s attention. The driver then emerged from the car where an altercation took place in which the driver punched Szabo in the face causing him to fall to the pavement and hit his head, before speeding off. Szabo failed to regain consciousness and died after he was taken off life support Tuesday.
In an interview with The Today Show on Friday morning, Szabo’s mother, Donna Kent, stated that her son was just trying to find his Uber ride:
“He was trying to get an Uber and his cellphone died and so he just tapped on the wrong guy’s window.”
The medical examiner’s office has ruled Szabo’s death a homicide, stating he was killed from blunt impact injury to the head with a brain injury.
On Thursday, accompanied by his attorney, Jamill Jones, an assistant men’s basketball coach at Wake Forest University in North Carolina, surrendered to law enforcement. Jones has been charged with third-degree assault, a misdemeanor. He pleaded not guilty during his arraignment on Thursday, but police say more charges could follow. In a statement to PEOPLE, Jones’ relatives offered their condolences to the Szabo family stating the actions don’t seem to match the person they know and love:
“Jamill Jones is a wonderful son and father — a good-hearted man who protects his loved ones from harm.”
“Jamill is a man of good character and has a strong work ethic.”
Jones was currently in his second season as assistant basketball coach at Wake Forest. He previously served as an assistant coach at the University of Central Florida and Florida Gulf Coast University. In a brief statement on Friday Wake Forest shared that Jones had been placed on leave and also expressed condolences for the family.
The New York Post reports Bob Kent, Szabo’s father, shares that he doesn’t understand why Jones didn’t call for help when his son fell:
“If you’re this good father, son, husband, why not try to take him to the hospital and see if you could save his life?”
“He was hit so hard, his lip was pushed into his upper tooth and came through his lip.”
The Szabo family shared that after hoping their son would regain consciousness they ultimately decided it was best to take him off life support. They plan to donate their son’s organs:
“We were just hoping for a miracle that he would come through.”
“We always had somebody holding his hands to just see if he would just give our hand a squeeze to let us know he was there.”
“Right now, just knowing that he will continue to live through others is the only comfort we can find …He truly was too good to be a part of this evil world.”
Mother, Donna Kent, expressed that condolences simply aren’t enough at this devastating time:
“I used to be a mother of two as well. And I’m sorry — your condolences are a little bit too late.”
According to NBC News, Jones was released on his own recognizance and is scheduled to appear back in court on Oct. 2.