New York man shoves 80-year-old pro-masker to death during heated confrontation at upstate bar
Erie County District Attorney John Flynn announced that 65-year-old Donald Lewinsky was facing a charge of criminally negligent homicide in the death of Rocco Sapienza
A New Yorker has been charged in the death of an 80-year-old man after a confrontation at a bar over wearing a mask last week, the Erie County district attorney has revealed. Erie County District Attorney John Flynn announced on Monday that 65-year-old Donald Lewinsky was facing a charge of criminally negligent homicide in the death of Rocco Sapienza, CNN reported.
On September 26, Sapienza allegedly confronted Lewinsky at a West Seneca bar near Buffalo about his conduct with the bar staff and for not wearing a mask as Lewinsky was bringing buckets of beer to a band playing outside. At some point during the confrontation, Lewinsky allegedly shoved Sapienza to the ground. "He was pretty much in an unresponsive condition right away. He went into a seizure right away there on the floor of the bar," Flynn said.
Sapienza remained unresponsive after being rushed to the Erie County Medical Center, and succumbed to his injuries on September 30. Flynn noted that Sapienza died from blunt force trauma to the head upon impact to the ground, citing preliminary autopsy results. "I get the impression from witness statements that these two just didn't like one another ... these two were butting heads from minute one there," Flynn explained. "So there were other things besides the mask that were involved here." Flynn said the confrontation was recorded on video, but that there was no audio footage. Despite being regulars at the bar, there is no indication that either of the men were intoxicated, or that they knew each other from before, according to evidence gathered thus far.
Lewinsky was arrested Monday, Flynn said, but was released with an appearance ticket since "newly passed state bail laws do not consider criminally negligent homicide a holdable offense unless certain criteria are met such as an outstanding warrant," per CNN. His attorney Barry Covert has said his client will plead not guilty when he appears in the West Seneca Town Court on Tuesday at 5 pm. "It's certainly a tragedy that Mr. Sapienza passed away," Covert told The Buffalo News. "My client and his family want to express their best wishes and sympathy to the family of Mr. Sapienza."
If convicted, Lewinsky faces up to four years in prison.
MEA WorldWide (MEAWW) previously reported how two pro-mask fanatics were caught on camera Friday in Manhattan Beach, California confronting a pair of maskless civilians telling them that they needed to wear masks as they sat on a bench, before things turned awry. The two men without masks were seen chatting with each other on a bench when a woman and her male companion begin scolding them unprovoked. "Ya'll need to be wearing masks," the woman's voice was heard saying off-camera.
The maskless man recording the video explained that he and his friend were "locals" and were "on the other side of the fence" when it came to wearing masks. "We don't believe in this stuff," he declared. His companion, also without a mask, was seen at one point warning the woman's male companion to stop berating them. "What are you looking at me for? I didn't say s**t to you," he yelled. "Get the f*** out of my face!" In response, a drink was splashed all over the other maskless man's face as he sat on the bench – thereby sparking a violent altercation.