Martin Gugino, the elderly protester who was critically injured after being pushed by police during a protest in Buffalo and later accused by U.S. President Donald Trump of potentially being an “Antifa provocateur,” is reportedly being forced to go into hiding after facing death threats.
Video footage showed Gugino being pushed by a pair of police officers as they moved in to clear a small protest after a curfew in the city of Buffalo, then stumbling backward and striking his head on the pavement. The video drew considerable anger across the country, especially as it showed more than a dozen police officers walking over or around Gugino’s bleeding body until another law enforcement officer stopped to give him first aid.
The 75-year-old activist then came under attack from Trump, who insinuated in a tweet that he was a member of the loosely affiliated anti-fascist group Antifa, which Trump has referred to as a terrorist group. As The Inquisitr reported, Trump shared an unsubstantiated claim that Gugino was trying to “scan police communications in order to black out the equipment.”
As the Independent reported, a lawyer representing Gugino said the elderly man was still recovering but had to make plans to move into an undisclosed location after receiving “concerning and threatening messages and one letter” since the incident. Lawyer Kelly Zarcone said that once released from the hospital, he will move to a private location.
“It is not clear that these are credible death threats. In order to avoid the risk, Martin will be recovering in an undisclosed location when he is released from the hospital. We do not expect that to happen for a good week, so things could change,” Zarcone said.
Zarcone did not offer further details, including the nature of the threats or whether they were related to Trump’s claim that the elderly protester could have been involved in what the president called a terrorist group. Reports from Buffalo indicated that the 75-year-old had been a longtime peace activist.
Past updates have indicated that Gugino could face a difficult recovery. Zarcone had previously said in a statement to CNN that the elderly man suffered a fractured skull and was slow in recovering.
“While he is not able to walk yet, we were able to have a short conversation before he became too tired. He is appreciative of all of the concern about him, but he is still focused on the issues rather than himself,” Zarcone said.