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"Unprovoked and despicable:" City of Tonawanda police charge a man after attacking a disabled person

Posted at 6:17 PM, Aug 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-05 18:17:36-04

CITY OF TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WKBW) — City of Tonawanda police arrested 24 year-old Avery Hunter of Buffalo after they say he attacked a man who suffers from Huntington's disease.

The victim suffered from a broken jaw, concussion and a brain bleed.

Hunter is charged with second degree felony assault and could face up to ten years in jail, as well as a $2,500 fine.

The unidentified 59 year-old man from the Town of Tonawand was attacked while walking on a sidewalk at the corner of Grove Street and Grove Place early Sunday morning.

Police said he likes to take regular walks around the city and the Gateway Harbor.

"A lot of the patrol officers on the day shift, afternoon [shift] know of the gentleman," said Captain Fredric Foels.

Police claim Hunter punched the victim so hard he was knocked unconscious. When officers arrived on scene, Hunter was still standing over the victim while he lied unconscious on the the sidewalk.

Police aren't releasing the victim's name at the request of his family.

James Black and Jeffrey Laub said they frequent the harbor and know the victim, they even spoke to him several times.

"This person has got a disability, everyday we see him. And whoever did this is a scumbag," said James Black.

According to Mayo Clinic, Huntington's disease causes a breakdown of the nerves in the brain, affecting a person's functional abilities.

"So there could be some hand movements and arm movements when he's walking. So it's non-curable," said Captain Foels.

City of Tonawanda police are calling this an unprovoked and despicable act.

"Hopefully justice gets this guy. It's so wrong, it's terrible," said Jeffrey Laub. "That poor guy is harmless."

"For him to be minding his own business, walking; he was doing nothing wrong he was minding his own business when he got attacked like that," said Captain Foels.

Foels said the victim had successful jaw surgery but doctors are trying to keep an eye on the brain bleed.

24 year-old Avery Hunter is in jail and due back in court Tuesday for a felony hearing.