A dispute that led to his being charged with a major criminal offense of New Era Cap Co. it started Saturday night when an ex-boyfriend of his friend got in and parked his car on Delaware Avenue and Oliver’s Restaurant.
Christopher H. Koch, who ate at the restaurant, was driving his SUV away from the station when the ex-husband got out of his car, got into Koch’s SUV and tried to get Koch to fight him, officials said.
“Let’s end this as men,” the former man told Koch, according to a police report.
The ex-husband, whom the authorities refused to identify, approached Oliver because he knew Koch and his ex-wife were present, officials said.
Koch deliberately drove to the ex-husband, who left the road but injured his hand in the incident, officials said.
Koch, 61, who had previously served as Buffalo’s business manager for his family since 2001, is now facing charges of reckless endangerment.
People are reading it again…
“Every time you, as I said, drive your car to someone else, there’s a good chance something bad will happen,” Erie County County Attorney John J. Flynn told reporters Monday. “And, again, thank God this didn’t happen.”
Koch denied wrongdoing through his lawyers, Aaron Glazer and Paul Cambria Jr.
“Obviously, there was a road accident,” Glazer told Buffalo News in a statement. “However, we strongly believe, based on the evidence, that Mr. Koch has never committed any crime. Everything else will be settled in court.”
The case drew a lot of attention when the District Attorney’s Office on Monday revealed that he had been tried in the early hours of the morning.
The office news came about 36 hours after the incident outside Oliver.
David Schutte, who owns Oliver’s, confirmed that it happened near his inauguration.
“He’s a very good customer of ours and a close friend,” Schutte said in an interview. “He was eating there and as he was leaving the restaurant, I believe, that’s when the accident happened. I was not a witness to that.”
Koch and his girlfriend, whom officials also declined to identify, are leaving Oliver, Delaware and Delham avenues in North Buffalo, just after 8:30 pm Saturday.
Flynn told reporters that the friend’s ex-husband appeared to Oliver because he knew his ex-wife and Koch were there. He declined to say why the man wanted to argue with Koch and did not disclose what he was talking about.
“I don’t want to say too much right now,” Flynn said. “But I think you can read the tea leaves here. And we have a problem that, you know, we have an ex-boyfriend of a current friend. And, so, I just kind of left it there. ”
A former police report, a 45-year-old Buffalo man, was driving a 2018 Chevrolet Silverado north of Delaware when he stopped in front of a parking lot while Koch and his friend were trying to get out.
The ex-man got out of his car and went to the police report of Koch’s 2022 Cadillac Escalade SUV, according to “in an attempt to combat the opponent.”
Koch, in response, deliberately drove to the man, who was standing in front of Koch’s SUV, Flynn said.
The man, whose name is listed in the police report, jumped out of the way to avoid being hit but injured his one arm.
Koch also hit the man’s drawing, destroying the upper part, Flynn said.
Journalists on Monday pressured Flynn to find out if the man had gone down to the restaurant to meet Koch, and apparently stood in Koch’s driveway during the altercation, it should matter if Koch was charged.
Flynn said his office was reviewing the evidence and could change the case or add cases, according to the investigation.
Says Flynn: “So far, the victim has been the victim of it, and the victim is not even considered responsible. Mr. Koch has been charged at the time. “
When asked if Koch had been drinking before, Flynn told reporters he didn’t know.
When his SUV hit the man, Flynn said, Koch remained or returned to the scene and agreed with Buffalo police.
“There is a lot you can hear from lawyers when they show up,” said Schutte, owner of Oliver. “But, yeah, that’s awkward – and I don’t think you know it all. I mean, it all comes out, I’m sure.”
Koch was arraigned Monday morning before Buffalo City Court Judge Andrew C. LoTempio.
A temporary non-binding protection order was issued on behalf of the ex-husband.
Koch, who was released on bail, is due back in court on May 25 for a criminal offense.
If found guilty, Koch faces up to seven years in prison.
“If a person has no history, if there is, you know, two sides of the story in what happened here, what caused the fight or what they say happened – all of which makes me more tolerant,” Flynn said. .
New Era Cap declined to comment on Koch’s arrest.
Koch was named 2013 Buffalo Niagara Executive of the Year and was nominated by the former Gov. Andrew Cuomo at University Buffalo Council.
The company has been in the hands of the Koch family since its inception in 1920 by Christopher Koch’s grandfather.
Earlier this year, ACON Investments, a private equity firm, took a 15% to 20% stake in New Era, the Koch family continues to live with the rest, Moody’s said.
New Era is located on Delaware Avenue, where it also operates a retail store, but the company also has no local facilities.
The company has formal contracts with Major League baseball, the National Soccer League and many other professional athletes.
News Staff reporter Aaron Besecker contributed to the story.