Lackawanna man charged for fleeing fatal crash

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LACKAWANNA, NY – Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 29-year-old Emmanuel Muniz-Figueroa of Lackawanna was arraigned yesterday morning before Lackawanna City Court Justice Kenneth Szyszkowski on one count of Leaving the Scene of an Incident Without Reporting Resulting in Death (Class “D” felony).

It is alleged that on August 28, 2021, at approximately 2:14 a.m., the defendant and the male victim were involved in a physical altercation following an argument on Dona Street in the City of Lackawanna. During the fight, the victim allegedly displayed a kitchen knife and the defendant left in a SUV. A short time later, the defendant drove back to the residence. The victim allegedly ran in front of the defendant’s vehicle and was subsequently hit. The defendant is accused of leaving the scene without reporting the incident.

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The victim, 52-year-old Jose Matos, was taken to ECMC where he died from his injuries on August 31, 2021.

After conducting a thorough investigation of this case, our office determined that there was not enough evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law that the defendant committed any other crime.

Muniz-Figueroais scheduled to return on Wednesday, February 2, 2022 at 9:30 a.m. for a felony hearing. He was released on his own recognizance.  

If convicted of the charge, Muniz-Figueroafaces a maximum sentence of 7 years in prison.

DA Flynn commends Captain Joseph Leo and other members of the Lackawanna Police Department for their work in this investigation.

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The case is being prosecuted by Chief Paul J. Glascott of the Vehicular Crimes Unit.

As are all persons accused of a crime, the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.