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83-year-old man dies after he was punched, robbed in alleged road rage incident

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Posted at 10:12 PM, Feb 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-05 17:55:50-05

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio — An 83-year-old Fairview Park man has died after he was savagely sucker punched in an Independence gas station parking lot early Sunday morning. Independence Police Chief Michael Kilbane said detectives believe the altercation happened after a minor fender bender in the nearby intersection.

The family of Gary Power made the difficult decision to take him off of life support Monday afternoon. The family patriarch died early Tuesday morning. Nick Power, the youngest son, said his father suffered severe head injuries.

“It’s just a shame that an 83-year-old man gets smacked to the ground because of a fender bender or road rage,” Nick Power said. “Why would you hit an 83-year-old man?”

The incident happened at a Sunoco gas station on Rockside Road in Independence just before 2 a.m. Sunday. Surveillance video shows the victim pulling into the gas station. A few seconds later, a man in a dark-colored Jeep pulled in behind him.

The men get out of their cars and the man driving the dark-colored Jeep summons the elderly man over to him to seemingly show him something on the front of his car. The two men had a brief conversation.

“Without provocation it appears the suspect punched the victim in the face. The victim went down and struck his head on the parking lot. That’s what caused his injuries,” said Chief Kilbane. “Our goal is to very shortly identify a suspect and take him into custody. Independence prides itself on being a very safe city. This type of senseless violence can happen anywhere. When it does, especially because of the vulnerability of the victim, that makes it especially difficult to deal with.”

After knocking Power unconscious, the suspect appears to rifle through Power’s pockets. After doing so, the surveillance video shows the suspect casually walking back to his vehicle and driving away.

A few minutes later, police officers who had responded to a nearby business for an unrelated call saw Power lying down on the pavement. Chief Kilbane said detectives are still actively pursuing leads but encourages anyone with information to come forward.

“Anybody that obviously has any information, anything at all, the suspect his out there,” Chief Kilbane said. “He knows what he’s done. Hopefully he knows by now that we are actively looking for him and we will find him.”