An elderly man succumbed to death after an altercation over a face covering at Pamp`s Red Zone Bar & Brill in West Seneca.
The 80-year-old Rocco Sapienza was allegedly pushed to the ground following an argument on Monday. Donald Lewinski, a 65-year-old man from New York was passing through the bar when the victim confronted him for not covering his face with a mask.
An altercation began between the two and they also failed to agree on the treatment of a staff member, Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn said.
“These two were butting heads from minute one,” he added. “[Lewinski] pushed him with two hands.”
The push toppled the pensioner to the ground, who had a seizure and lost consciousness. A few days later the elderly man died from a “blunt force trauma to the head”.
Mr Lewinski was arrested following the incident on Monday. Arguments over face coverings have been seen across America, during the period of the coronavirus pandemic.
Mr Flynn said: “We see it everywhere, where people are confronting one another and having arguments about not wearing masks, and it’s unfortunate that we have an incident here now in western New York where this escalated into an 80-year-old man passing away.”
A lawyer representing Mr Lewisnki, Barry Covert said his client was not guilty as Mr Sapienza was “the aggressor”. He expressed his sympathy to the family of the deceased.
On Tuesday, Lewinski was released without bail, but if he is found guilty he could face four years imprisonment.