Press-Republican

March 8, 2014

Former SUNY student pleads guilty to assault in AXP case

Guilty: Former student awaits sentencing scheduled in May

By FELICIA KRIEG
Press-Republican

---- — PLATTSBURGH — Luis M. Munoz, one of the three former SUNY Plattsburgh students and Alpha Chi Rho fraternity members charged in an alleged gang assault, pleaded guilty this week to assault and petit larceny.

Originally charged in December with third-degree robbery and second-degree assault, both felonies, Munoz pleaded guilty in Plattsburgh City Court to third-degree assault and petit larceny, both misdemeanors, said Clinton County Assistant District Attorney Domenica Padula, who is prosecuting the case.

The 21-year-old’s sentencing is scheduled for May 21 in Plattsburgh City Court.

His attorney is Tina Soloski of Plattsburgh.

GONE FROM COLLEGE

Munoz and the two other AXP fraternity brothers charged in the alleged assault, Nicholas C. Simmons and Jake Feldman, both 20 years old, are no longer students at SUNY Plattsburgh, said Michelle Ouellette, director of public relations and publications.

She said she could not elaborate.

SUNY Plattsburgh withdrew its recognition of the fraternity soon after the arrests.

‘INCIDENT UNFOUNDED’

The alleged gang assault appears to have started because of a misunderstanding.

Daniel Colflesh, 18, the victim of the alleged assault, is a friend of a young woman who told police she had been groped by an unidentified male at the AXP house, although she had not been there at the time she said she was violated, Plattsburgh City Police Chief Desmond Racicot said Friday.

“We were not able to determine if that actually happened,” Racicot said, adding that no one was charged.

After Colflesh heard of the alleged incident, around 1 or 2 a.m. last Nov. 23, he went to the sidewalk in front of the 147 Brinkerhoff St. fraternity house and asked to speak with the person he believed to be responsible, police said.

BROKEN JAW

Munoz, Simmons and Feldman attacked Colflesh and chased him into the street, where they beat him, breaking his jaw and knocking out two of his teeth, police said.

Munoz was charged with robbery for physically taking an electronic cigarette from Colflesh’s pocket, police said.

A second fight happened that morning on the porch of the house between about eight other SUNY Plattsburgh students and fraternity members, police said.

Someone in the group brandished a knife, but no one was stabbed, Racicot said.

A baseball bat and hockey stick were also found to have been carried by some in the fight, but no serious injuries resulted from their use, the chief said.

PROBATION RECOMMENDED

Munoz’s recommended sentence has several provisions.

It would include three years of probation, payment of restitution and fines and submission of a DNA sample, Padula said.

That sentence would also require Munoz to undergo an alcohol evaluation and perform 100 hours of community service, she said.

Should that sentence be delivered by the judge, an order of protection would be put in place to protect Colflesh.

BACK IN COURT

Feldman’s next appearance in Plattsburgh City Court is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. March 26. His attorney is Matt Favro.

Simmons and his attorney, Allan Cruikshank, are scheduled to be in City Court at 8:30 a.m. March 28.

Email Felicia Krieg:fkrieg@pressrepublican.comTwitter: @FeliciaKrieg