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An Oneonta student was admitted to Albany Medical Center early Sunday morning after sustaining life-threatening injuries from hitting his head on pavement during a fight.

The Oneonta Police Department responded to an assault on Main Street close to 3 a.m. on Sunday morning, where witnesses who saw the assault gave a description of the suspect.

According to a felony complaint, suspect Joseph P. Schof, a student at the State College at Oswego, hit SUNY Oneonta student Tyler Giancola in the head, knocking him down.

Giancola is a 21 year-old Adolescent Education/English major who transferred to SUNY Oneonta in August. Giancola was with a group of friends downtown on Saturday when the fight ensued. Police Lt. Douglas Brenner says that intoxication was a factor with the defendant, but not with Giancola.

Schof said in a statement that he was unsure of who or why he was fighting, but added, “I think they asked me for a cigarette and I told them I did not have any.” Schof went on to say that someone pushed him down and then a group of males jumped onto him. Schof said that when he got back up, he “punched one of the kids,” and then ran down Main Street.

Police are still investigating the details of the fight.

When police arrived on the scene, they found Giancola on the ground, bleeding from his head with labored breathing. Giancola was taken to A.O. Fox Memorial Hospital by ambulance and then transferred to Albany Medical Center Neurological Intensive Care Unit. On Monday a representative for the hospital said that Giancola remains in critical condition.

Schof was charged with second-degree assault in Oneonta City Court and released on $5,000 bail. Administrators at both SUNY Oneonta and SUNY Oswego were made aware of the incident.

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