Home / News / Merrillville man sentenced to 4 years in prison for punching man who hit his head at Hobart bar

Merrillville man sentenced to 4 years in prison for punching man who hit his head at Hobart bar


A Merrillville man was sentenced to four years in prison Tuesday for punching a man who was left permanently injured after falling and hitting his head at a Hobart bar on Jan. 5, 2020.

Sergio Moncada, 40, pleaded guilty Feb. 1 to battery causing serious bodily injury; this was a Level 5 Felony. He faced up to four years in prison as part of the plea agreement.

His attorney, Roy Dominguez, said he wasn’t immediately sure whether Moncada would appeal.

Court records show Moncada thought the victim came out of the bathroom at 314 Main St., End Zone, around 2 a.m. and spit on him. Both men appeared drunk, according to testimony.

The victim won a $100,000 judgment in the civil lawsuit filed on January 5.

Attorney Matt LaTulip told the court that jailing Moncada “doesn’t help anyone.” In this case, he represented the victim. However, he also stated that Moncada has not made any payments yet.

The mother of Moncada’s son asked the court to keep her son out of prison, saying that her son did not use violence.

“This is all unfortunate and terrible,” she said, adding that she prays “every day” for the victim.

Moncada said it was not his “intention” to hurt someone that badly.

Judge Samuel Cappas asked if he had given him the cold shoulder at the bar. Yes or no?

“Yes,” Moncada replied. “I take responsibility for my mistakes.”

Deputy Prosecutor Kasey Dafoe said the victim, now in his late 20s, suffered multiple injuries from the incident, including a skull base fracture, hearing loss, subdural hematoma, depth perception issues, balance problems, memory loss and a speech impediment. .

He underwent two brain surgeries and was intubated.

He said the victim had no memory of that night due to his injuries, and also noted that his BAC was 0.28, three times the legal driving limit.

Some sort of argument took place in the bathroom, and security footage shows them getting in each other’s faces right outside. If the victim spat at Moncada, he said, it wasn’t “intentional.” Moncada attacked him. Court records show Moncada was expelled from school and later arrested.

He asked for a four-year prison sentence, saying he was on video and clearly not provoked.

Dafoe referenced a Facebook post Moncada made shortly after the incident, saying 2020 “started well” because he “had a fight” with someone. Court records show he added that he “didn’t ask people’s names because I was beating them up.”

Dominguez later said Moncada did not know how badly the victim was injured when he made the post.

He added that Moncada was managing his anger, “accepted responsibility” with the defense, and hoped the victim “recovered.”

Dominguez said one reason he didn’t pay for the civil suit was because he was working “seasonally.” He did not continue beating the victim. It was one punch. He argued that the injuries occurred as a result of a fall. It might not have been this bad if the victim hadn’t been drunk, he argued.

He said Moncada was “extremely remorseful.”

He requested probation.

Cappas said the victim was “permanently disabled.” He was so drunk he couldn’t really defend himself.

It was like “the strong preying on the weak.”

According to the indictment, he sentenced him to the heaviest penalty.

Moncada was originally charged with Level 3 Felony battery causing serious bodily injury and Level 5 Felony battery. He was facing at least 3-16 years of age.

Cappas said that when he first read the plea, he thought “there was no way I wasn’t going to accept that.”

Cappas said he didn’t care what the victim had previously said in his letter requesting parole. He added that the likelihood of Moncada paying the $100,000 lawsuit is “remote.”



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