Buffalo Man Charged with Assaulting a Probation Officer
BUFFALO, NY—U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that John Hunt, 39, of Buffalo, NY, was charged by criminal complaint with assault of a federal officer. The charge carries a maximum sentence of eight years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, or both.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Caleb J. Petzoldt, who is handling the case, stated that according to the complaint, on September 11, 2015, two U.S. Probation officers went to the defendant’s home on Sweet Avenue in Buffalo to conduct an unscheduled home visit. While attempting to make contact with Hunt, one of the officers noticed a strong smell of gas and a gas shutoff notice on the porch. The officer asked the defendant to step put on the porch to talk. The Buffalo Police and Fire Departments were also called to investigate the smell of gas coming from the residence.
The complaint further states that when Buffalo Police and Fire arrived, Hunt became agitated. As a result, one of the officers attempted to handcuff the defendant but Hunt refused the order to place his hands behind his back and attempted to go back into the residence. In doing so, the defendant struck one of the officers twice in the face, once on the side of the head and once in the mouth. As a result, the officer suffered a scalp bruise and an injured jaw.
The defendant made an initial appearance this morning before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah J. McCarthy and is being detained.
The criminal complaint is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Buffalo Police Department, under the direction of Commissioner Daniel Derenda, and Buffalo Fire Department, under the direction of Commissioner Garnell Whitfield.
The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.