Buffalo protester, 75, released from hospital
ALBANY — The 75-year-old man who fell to the ground after being pushed by Buffalo police officers in early June was released Tuesday from a local hospital.
Martin Gugino sustained a brain injury and a fractured skull related to the June 4 incident that drew a national outcry, leading to the arrest of two officers on charges of assault and intentionally pushing him.
His lawyer, Kelly Zarcone, said Gugino was released from Erie County Medical Center and "recovering at an undisclosed location in order to ensure his privacy."
"Martin wants to thank the entire hospital staff for their exceptional dedication and professionalism. He received truly outstanding care and for that, he is grateful," Zarcone said in a statement.
Zarcone said, "I was able to see Martin today and he looks great."
A regular protester in Buffalo on police and climate matters, Gugino approached police near Buffalo City Hall during a rally after the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis when he was pushed and fell backwards, smacking his head on the pavement, videos showed.
Gugino has been in the hospital since the incident, and he hasn't spoken publicly.
President Donald Trump weighed in on the case June 9 in a tweet, suggesting he could be an “antifa provocateur.”
"75 year old Martin Gugino was pushed away after appearing to scan police communications in order to black out the equipment," Trump said in the tweet.
Gugino wrote in a text message to the USA TODAY Network New York soon after the tweet: "No comment other than Black lives matter. Just out of the ICU. Should recover eventually. Thx.”
His lawyer said Gugino can now walk with some help, and his condition is expected to improve with rest.
"I brought him the cards and letters sent to my office and he said he still felt overjoyed at the continued support and well wishes, ‘like it was Christmas Day,'" Zarcone said.
She added: "Martin said that he is pleased at the progress made so far to protect the safety of peaceful protesters, a topic near and dear to his heart.
"He respects the burden of authority placed upon law enforcement but looks forward to the continued implementation of systemic changes to eliminate police brutality."