Nov 4, 2015

Cody man to pay more than $62,000 for 2013 assault

Between criminal penalties and a civil settlement, a Cody man must pay more than $62,000 for attacking a man outside a liquor store two years ago.

Last month, Robert P. Pugrad, 31, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of reckless endangering in connection with the November 2013 incident outside of Rocky Mountain Discount Liquor in Cody.

Pugrad was initially charged with a felony count of aggravated assault and battery, but it was reduced to the misdemeanor as part of a plea agreement approved by victim Matthew Schuster, said Deputy Park County Prosecuting Attorney Sam Krone.

The incident reportedly began with an argument between Pugrad and Schuster about a woman.

Pugrad pinned Schuster against the store’s outside wall and punched him in the face, according to charging documents. Schuster’s head reportedly snapped back and hit the cinder block wall; an employee inside the store later said they heard the impact, which rattled the bottles of alcohol displayed on shelves along that wall, charging documents say.

After Schuster collapsed to the ground, Pugrad hit him a few more times before a couple people pulled him off, Cody police were told.

Schuster suffered an injury to his right eye, a concussion, damage to four front teeth and a fracture to one of his vertebra, according to charging documents.

At Pugrad’s Oct. 5 sentencing hearing, District Court Judge Steven Cranfill placed him on a year of unsupervised probation. While on probation, Pugrad must stay away from bars, alcohol and Schuster, among other conditions. He received credit for the four days he served in jail after his initial 2013 arrest, with another 356 days suspended.

Pugrad also must pay $170 in court fees and $12,120 in restitution for Schuster’s medical bills.
In addition, Pugrad also agreed to pay Schuster $50,000 to settle a civil lawsuit relating to the incident.

The settlement, which was finalized in August, calls for Pugrad to pay Schuster $100 a month.
Pugrad can pay more per month if he wants, but if he’s ever late, Schuster has the ability to demand full payment on whatever amount is left.

At $100 per month, it would take Pugrad about 41 and a half years to pay off the civil judgement.


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