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Published: Monday, 9/20/2004

Fatal assault victim likely hit in face, coroner decides

The 19-year-old Toledo man who died Saturday after a fight with a co-worker last week suffered a blunt head injury, the Lucas County deputy coroner ruled yesterday.

John Roa, who lived in Toledo with a relative on and off for three years after coming here from Las Vegas, was likely hit on the face, police said after the incident Thursday outside of the telemarketing firm where both men worked.

John Winlock, 24, of 1334 Prouty Ave., remained in the Lucas County jail yesterday on $100,000 for felonious assault. Police said earlier those charges could be amended today.

Dr. Cynthia Beisser, deputy coroner, said she has ruled out the possibility that Mr. Roa was hit on the back of the head. Dr. Beisser said during the autopsy she didn't find any blood under Mr. Roa's scalp, which would have shown up if he was hit on the back of the head.

Mr. Roa's mother, Teresa Szirbik, said her son's co-workers at Northwest Circulation Sales, Inc., 5301 Southwyck Blvd., told her that Mr. Roa was hit on the back of the head. That conflicts with police reports, which said witnesses told them Mr. Roa was hit on the face.

Detective Paul Tetuan said workers at the company have told him that in the weeks before the incident, Mr. Roa and Mr. Winlock argued constantly at work. The fight sprung from a quarrel between the two during a work break, Mr. Tetuan said.

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