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75-year-old protester pushed in Buffalo, suffers brain injury, will start physical therapy

Buffalo protester who was shoved to the ground by police expected to leave hospital in 2 weeks
Posted at 8:40 AM, Jun 12, 2020

BUFFALO, N.Y. — 75-year-old Martin Gugino, the Buffalo protester that was knocked down by two members of the Buffalo Police Department last Thursday is expected to be released from the hospital within the next two weeks, his attorney told CNN.

In a statement to CNN, Gugino's attorney, Kelly V. Zarcone, said Wednesday he will be moved to a rehabilitation floor of the hospital and is expected to be released within two weeks.

In an additional statement sent Thursday, Zarcone says Gugino is beginning physical therapy.

"As heartbreaking as it is, his brain is injured and he is well aware of that now," she said. "He is looking forward to healing and determining what his 'new normal' might look like."

While participating in peaceful protests against police brutality in Buffalo's Niagara Square on June 4, Gugino was told by police to disperse, as he was in violation of curfew. Police then marched forward, and when Gugino didn't move, he was shoved to the ground.

Video from the incident showed Gugino bleeding from his ears. He was later transported to a local hospital and was initially listed in serious condition.

The two officers who knocked Gugino down, 32-year-old Robert McCabe and 39-year-old Aaron Torgalski, were suspended without pay and were charged with second-degree assault on Saturday.

The incident has drawn international attention. On Tuesday, President Donald Trump tweeted a baseless conspiracy theory about Gugino, furthering the controversy.

Friends of Gugino have come forward to defend him and have described him as a longtime activist and a "non-violent" person.

Buffalo Police are now under a microscope and facing harsh criticism for their handling of the incident. Three law enforcement experts provided a perspective on the controversy to Scripps station WKBW in Buffalo.

This story was originally published by WKBW in Buffalo.