ELYRIA, Ohio-- An 82-year-old Elyria man died two days after being struck in the chest during a road rage attack.
Now authorities are investigating if the punch was the cause of his death.
"This guy took his fist and hit him right here. He's had open heart surgery. This guy was only 56 years old. My husband was 82," said Nancy Grove, the victim's wife.
Richard Grove was just on his way to the Apples market on North Abbe road in Elyria on Wednesday afternoon when police say he got into a traffic dispute with Roger Layne. The two men got into a heated argument in the supermarket parking lot; witnesses said it then turned physical.
According to police, Layne punched Grove in the chest then he fell to the ground. Nancy Grove says her husband was in severe pain after the incident; then two days later she found him dead on their bathroom floor. Now authorities are investigating if the punch was to blame.
"They decided to go ahead and do an autopsy because it was such a coincidence. He got hit real hard in the chest and two days later he's dead and. It hurts very, very bad," said Grove.
According to police reports, two Lifecare Ambulance employees witnessed the incident; they then treated Grove in a parking lot. They wrote down the suspect's license plate number before he drove away; then they gave it to police.
Elyria police were able to find Layne at his home. He admitted to getting into an argument in the supermarket parking lot; but says he didn't hit Richard Grove.
"He stated that he lunged at Mr. Grove but did not strike him and again that statement is being contradicted by witnesses. Witnesses are saying that he had in fact punched Mr. Grove," said Captain Chris Constantino of the Elyria Police Department.
Elyria police arrested Layne and charged him with assault and they say Layne could be facing more serious charges once the autopsy results are released.
The case has been handed over to the prosecutor's office and autopsy results should be released sometime this week.
Layne is due back in court on Wednesday.