Create a free profile to get unlimited access to exclusive videos, breaking news, sweepstakes, and more!
75-Year-Old Buffalo Activist Shoved To The Ground By Police Can’t Walk Right Now, Has Fractured Skull, Lawyer Says
Martin Gugino, who has been the subject of baseless accusations of being an Antifa provocateur, may have to relocate after his rehab because of the threats he's getting, according to his attorney.
An elderly Buffalo man, who cracked his skull and was left to bleed on a sidewalk after police bowled him over during protests earlier this month, is unable to walk, his lawyer said
Martin Gugino, who was knocked to the ground as he approached police amidst citywide protests condemning George Floyd’s death, has temporarily lost the use of his legs, according to his attorney Kelly Zarcone.
“The last time I saw him, which was Friday, he could not walk,” Zarcone told Oxygen.com.
Gugino, who also suffered a fractured skull in the now-viral incident, is expected to recover. He’s undergoing physical therapy.
“We do expect him to be able to walk, it’s just going to take some time and determination on his part,” she added. “He’s had quite a problem there getting knocked to the ground like that so he’s just recovering and that will take some time. He’s still got some healing to do.”
Footage of the incident shows Gugino first approaching the police and appearing to speak with the officers, but was then abruptly shoved, flew backward, and struck his head on the pavement. A large pool of blood formed on the cement as dozens of militarized police marched past.
Prior to the emergence of the video, Buffalo police claimed Gugino had tripped.
Two Buffalo police officers were later charged and suspended. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo called the confrontation, “wholly unjustified and utterly disgraceful.” Buffalo Mayor Byron B. Brown said he, too, was “deeply disturbed” by the encounter.
The 75-year-old has since been accused of being associated with Antifa, the radical, anti-fascist political group. He’s been targeted by alt-right trolls, online conspiracists — and even President Trump, who appeared to paint Gugino as an extremist agitator on Twitter.
“Buffalo protester shoved by Police could be an ANTIFA provocateur,” Trump tweeted on June 9.
Trump hypothesized, with no evidence, that the Buffalo activist was an Antifa operative who had masterminded a plot to disrupt “police communications.”
“75 year old Martin Gugino was pushed away after appearing to scan police communications in order to black out the equipment,” the president added. “I watched, he fell harder than was pushed. Was aiming scanner. Could be a set up?”
Gugino’s lawyer called the conspiracies “untrue.”
“I don’t blame the president, honestly, for looking into it,” Zarcone said. “He can look into it all he wants. The fact of the matter is, it’s simply not so."
Other rumors surfaced, accusing Gugino, again without evidence, of being a career criminal who’s been arrested hundreds of times.
“[It’s] ridiculous,” Zarcone said.
His lawyer acknowledged he’s been arrested on a handful of minor charges related to his activism, such as trespassing, but said Gugino has never been convicted.
“In truth he was arrested four times, three times there were not even any charges and this was all for protesting, peaceful protesting ... but never for inciting or rioting or any type of violence at all.”
Gugino has protested climate change, drone strikes, and nuclear weapons in the past, the New York Times reported.
The torrent of misinformation, coupled with the incident’s widespread publicity, has forced Gugino to consider relocating, following his recovery.
“We are concerned about the rumors going around, inciting people to violence against Martin,” Zarcone said. “So he won’t be going back home. ... We don’t feel it would be safe for him.”
Despite the daunting fallout and road to recovery, Gugino doesn’t harbor ill will toward the policemen who assaulted him, his lawyer added
“Martin does not hold the individual police officers in bad regard,” Zarcone stated.