LEITERS FORD, Ind. - A 38-year-old Rochester man died Sunday morning after being struck in the head by another man at a Fulton County bar.
Indiana State Police and the Fulton County Sheriff’s Department discovered Tony Coleman unconscious on the floor of Leiters Ford Tavern on Main Street shortly before 2 a.m.
Coleman was transported to nearby Woodlawn Hospital in Rochester where he was pronounced dead shortly thereafter.
An autopsy did not provide an official cause of death.
Fulton County Coroner Darin Beeker told NewsCenter16 he’s awaiting the results of a toxicology test.
Beeker said death by a single punch is possible, but he is awaiting lab results before releasing an official cause of death.
According to police, Coleman was making his way out of the bar when Zachary Clark, 33, of Peru hit Coleman in the head with a closed fist.
Several witnesses said the attack appeared to be unprovoked. They said no words were exchanged between Clark and Coleman and that Coleman was looking in the other direction when he was struck.
“We still don't know why he would attack Mr. Coleman,” said Sgt. Tony Slocum of the Indiana State Police Peru Post. “Whatever decision Mr. Clark made, it appears cost Mr. Coleman his life.”
Investigators originally said both men had been drinking at the time of
the incident, but now police believe Clark was far more intoxicated.
“Detectives believe Zachary Clark was extremely intoxicated or at least appeared that way while he was inside Leiters Ford Tavern,” Slocum said. “He was even having problems standing up and at some point appeared to have passed out inside the bar."
Clark was found near the tavern and taken to Fulton County Jail on a preliminary charge of aggravated battery. He bonded out and is no longer in custody.
Neighbor Richard Foster says the incident has shocked community members in the tiny town.
"It is normally a very nice restaurant to eat and they don't normally have a lot of problems there," Foster said. "A lot of prayers are being said for the families involved."
Police say the investigation is still ongoing.
Anyone with information in the incident is encouraged to contact the Indiana State Police Peru Post.