The DA believes the man is the first person to die in the U.S. because of a physical altercation over wearing a mask.

By: KDKA-TV News Staff

WEST SENECA, N.Y. (KDKA) — An 80-year-old man from Pittsburgh died after he confronted a bar patron who wouldn’t wear a mask.

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The death of Rocco Sapienza, a retired steelworker, is being investigated as a homicide. The Erie County District Attorney’s Office in New York says Sapienza got into an argument with 65-year-old Donald Lewinski, who was not wearing a mask.

The district attorney says Lewinski shoved Sapienza onto the floor. Sapienza died Oct. 1 from head trauma after being in a coma following the incident on Sept. 26 at a bar in West Seneca, New York.

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(Photo Credit: Provided)

Now Sapienza’s family in Pittsburgh is remembering him as a Marine who stood up for the little guy.

“He wasn’t afraid to call somebody out for being stupid, for acting stupid. If you knew my father, that’s the kind of guy he was. And my father could hold a conversation with anybody, he was a very friendly man,” said Richard Sapienza.

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The DA believes Rocco is the first person to die in the U.S. because of a physical altercation over wearing a mask.