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Video of incident involving New Era CEO may be key in pending civil suit

A man injured when struck by a vehicle driven by Christopher Koch intends to sue for damages after criminal charges against Koch were dismissed.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — "That doesn't sit very well with me at all," said Daniel Parisi last September, upon learning that criminal charges against New Era Cap Company CEO Christopher Koch had been dropped

"Daniel just wanted his day in court," one of Parisi's attorneys, Michael D'Amico said on Friday. "He wanted to be able to testify in front of a jury or a judge or whoever to speak his piece."

Parisi may get that chance eventually, through civil court.

Koch and Parisi were involved in altercation outside Oliver's Restaurant on Delaware Avenue in May of 2022, where Parisi had gone looking for his for common law wife, who was having dinner with Koch.   

The altercation ended when Parisi was injured while jumping out of the way of Koch's vehicle, which he had claimed Koch tried to run him over with.

"He tried to f***ing hit me with his f***ing car...he'da killed me. I swear to God he did!" exclaimed Parisi to responding police, on body cam video obtained by 2 On Your Side.

After Koch was charged with felony counts surrounding the incident, the Erie County District Attorney's office reduced them to misdemeanors. Later, over the objection of prosecutors, a judge dismissed the remaining charges entirely after Koch's lawyer Paul Cambria argued that his client was trying to drive past Parisi, not at him, in an attempt to escape the parking lot.

But now, an attorney planning representing Parisi in a planned civil suit against Koch has released video from a restaurant security camera, which appears to tell a different story.

"It shows him (Koch) driving directly at Mr. Parisi and turning his wheel so he can hit him," said Peter Kooshoian, of the Rosenthal Kooshoian & Lennon law firm. "That's different than what Mr. Cambria told you."

In a text message, Cambria wrote that the case was properly dismissed and indicated there are additional videos that would indicate that Koch was not acting recklessly in his response to a dangerous situation that he did not create.  

Kooshoian also noted that Koch and at least one other individual can be seen on police body camera video telling officers that Parisi smashed into his vehicle, when the video shows Parisi out of his car when Koch drives into Parisi's vehicle as Parisi tries to get out of the vehicle's path.

Parisi, who was never charged with anything, is visibly agitated when appearing on the body cam video, and eventually can be seen being patted down by officers, who detain him in the back seat of a police car.

With the criminal charges against Koch having been dismissed by judge, the District Attorney cannot re-file them.

However, while Koch may be out of the woods criminally, that's not the case when it comes to civil court.

"That's where it's heading. There'll be a lawsuit for compensatory punitive damages," said Kooshoian, who also indicated the video from the restaurant will be a key component of their case.

"I think the video will be very impactful. You can't try to run somebody over with your car, obviously. Danny didn't get out with a gun and point it...he got out of his car. And Mr. Koch pointed his car at him and tried to run him over. He's lucky he's alive," Kooshoian said. 

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