The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

November 7, 2012

Summerhill man dies after struck with bat

Patrick Buchnowski
pbuchnowski@tribdem.com

— A Summerhill Township man died Wednesday after being hit in the head with an aluminum bat two days earlier.

The man who attacked him is expected to be charged with homicide.

In a criminal complaint, township police said Gregory Russell Conzo, 50, hit Michael Pcola, 37, with the bat during a domestic dispute Monday at a home on Sierra Street.

Pcola was taken to Memorial Medical Center in Johnstown with brain trauma, police said.

Conzo, of the 100 block of Sierra Street, was charged Tuesday with criminal attempted homicide, aggravated assault, aggravated assault with a weapon, simple assault and reckless endangerment.

Township police Chief Paul Bonfanti said earlier Wednesday the attempted homicide charge would be upgraded to homicide if Pcola did not survive.

It was later learned that Pcola died from his injures. Cambria County Coroner Dennis Kwiatkowski confirmed that Pcola died at 3:33 p.m. in Memorial’s ICU.

A cause of death will not be determined until an autopsy is performed Friday, Kwiatkowski said.

Police said they arrived at the Sierra Street home and found Pcola lying on his back, not breathing. Officer Donald Wyar began CPR and was able to get a heartbeat, a court document reads.

A woman at the scene told police Conzo struck her in the arm with the bat and then hit Pcola in the left side of the head. Conzo left the scene with the bat and was caught later, police said.

The woman said the incident started with a dispute between her, Conzo and the couple’s daughter.

When Michael Pcola came downstairs to intervene, Conzo struck him with the bat, police said.

Conzo was arraigned by on-call District Judge Michael Zungali of Hastings and was sent to the Cambria County Prison after failing to post 10 percent of $100,000 bond.

Authorities are investigating.

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