Buffalo man sentenced to 60 days in jail followed by probation after punching man with underlying condition


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Avery Hunter, 26, of Buffalo was sentenced Wednesday to 60 days in jail followed by three years of probation for punching a man with a medical condition in August 2019.

The Erie County District Attorney’s office says on August 4, 2019, around 1:52 a.m. 59-year-old Michael Zuch was walking near Grove Place and Grove Street in the City of Tonawanda when Hunter confronted Zuch. The two men didn’t know each other, but a short verbal altercation happened between the two and they went on their own way.

Following the interaction, Hunter turned around and punched Zuch, who had an underlying condition, in the face. The 59-year-old hit his head on the sidewalk and spent several weeks at Erie County Medical Center for treatment before being transferred to a rehabilitation center.

Michael Zuch died in November 2019 from his underlying illness; the Erie County Medical Examiner’s office determined the assault didn’t contribute to the 59-year-old’s death.

Avery Hunter was convicted, after a two-day bench trial, on one count of third-degree assault. He was originally indicted on one count of second-degree assault by a grand jury.

Patrick Ryan is a digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2020. See more of his work here.

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