New York assault involving Wake Forest University basketball assistant coach now deemed homicide

NEW YORK -- A homicide investigation is underway after a Wake Forest University basketball coach punched a Florida tourist, who later died, Sunday in New York, according to WPIX.

Jamill Jones, 35, of Kernersville, was charged with assault after turning himself in to police on Thursday, officials said.

Police deemed the incident a homicide on Friday, WPIX reported.

Jones is an assistant coach at Wake Forest, the Queens District Attorney's Office confirmed.

Jones allegedly punched 35-year-old Sandor Szabo, of Boca Raton, Florida, in the face on Sunday, knocking him to the pavement, after Szabo  knocked on the window of Jones’ SUV.

The New York Post reports that Szabo's family said he was in town for his stepsister's wedding when he left his brother's LIC hotel shortly after 1 a.m. to find a cab he'd ordered.

After banging on multiple cars in front of 41-10 29th St., a nearby person heard the commotion and went to confront Szabo, sources said.

Szabo then punched the person in the face, the New York Post reports. That's when Jones approached Szabo and punched him.

A witness told WPIX Szabo appeared to be choking on his own blood.

The driver fled the scene and Szabo -- unconscious -- was rushed to the hospital in critical condition early Sunday, officials said. He died Tuesday.

The Florida man was the VP of Sales for WhatIf Media Group, previously worked in North Carolina for more than 10 years and was a 2009 graduate of DeVry University in Raleigh, according to his LinkedIn.

He was remembered fondly by his employer.

“Sandor was a super outgoing, friendly, and incredibly smart businessman,” his employer said. “He was always upbeat, positive, kind and caring. He was fun to be with, interesting, and always interested.  He was a really good person.”

Jones joined the Demon Deacons in May 2017 after serving as an assistant coach at UCF, VCU and Florida Gulf Coast, according to his biography on the university's website.

Wake Forest Athletic Communications issued the following statement on Thursday evening:

We have just been made aware of this matter and we are gathering information.

We will make a further statement after we learn more about the matter.