Rochester man pleaded guilty to hitting victim in head with hammer


Rochester, N.Y. (WHAM) - A Rochester man pleaded guilty on Tuesday to hitting a construction worker over the head with a hammer last summer.

Prosecutors said Thomas Burnett, 61, was at a relative's home in Rochester on August 24 while a roofing construction job was underway. Burnett took a hammer belonging to the construction crew. A dispute ensued at the home, which led to 911 being called. An RPD officer responded to the scene.

When the officer arrived, Burnett went inside the home, got the hammer and hit the construction foreman on the head. The entire incident was captured of the officer's body camera.

The man was immediately rushed to Strong Memorial Hospital for neurosurgery, which saved his life.

Burnett pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree assault. He is scheduled to be sentenced to 15 years in state prison.

“Thomas Burnett nearly killed his victim in August, without a thought to the consequences of taking someone’s life," Monroe County Senior Assistant District Attorney Rachel Clark said. "Nobody should have to go to work in fear for their life and it is our hope that with the admission of guilt, the victim and his family will not have to fear reckless criminals like Burnett in our community."

Monroe County Court Judge Randall will sentence Burnett at his hearing on April 17.