On June 30, 2022, Raul Blanco (04/25/1988) of Schenectady, was convicted by a jury in Schenectady County Court of one count of Assault in the Second Degree, a class D violent felony, for punching a Union College student in the head on Clinton Street. The punch knocked the victim over, causing him to fall and hit his head on the street. As a result, he suffered a serious head injury that left him bed ridden for weeks.
On November 11, 2020, the victim was out celebrating his birthday with friends. He had dinner at a downtown restaurant and, while returning to campus, he was walking down Clinton Street, when the defendant snuck up from behind and struck him in the head. The motive for the assault is unknown. Residential and commercial video caught the punch on camera. County Cameras captured the defendant fleeing the scene and running back toward his Stockade Apartment.
The victim was knocked unconscious upon hitting the pavement and witnesses testified that they thought he had died. However, upon quick arrival, Fire Firefighter John Falotico of the Schenectady Fire Department began life saving intubation measures and transported him to Albany Medical Center. The victim was ultimately diagnosed with a concussion and acute hypoxic respiratory failure. The victim reported sleeping for up to 20 hours per day in the immediate days afterwards, and then spending more than two weeks in bed, staring at the ceiling, unable to do much at all due to his severe headaches and sensitivity to light and sound. Doctors did not allow him to resume usual activity until March of 2021.
Sentencing is scheduled for September 6, 2022 at 9:30. The defendant faces a maximum sentence of seven years incarceration. The People were represented by Assistant District Attorney Nicolaus B. McDonald. The defendant represented himself. The trial was presided over by the Honorable Matthew Sypniewski, Schenectady County Court Judge. For further information contact Assistant District Attorney Nicolaus B. McDonald at 518-388-4721.