MANKATO — Friends of a man who died a fews days after a confrontation with police at the downtown Hy-Vee say he could have been suffering from a head injury received earlier in the evening when he was discovered lying in the grocery store’s entryway.
People who were with Andrew Layton New Year’s Eve night and early Jan. 1 said he had been in a fight about 90 minutes before he was found at 4:40 a.m. at the downtown store. Layton’s heart stopped after he was taken into custody by police. He was revived but never came out of a coma and died at the hospital Jan. 5.
Police had received a report about a fight at the Security Apartments, 307 S. Broad St., at about 3:10 a.m. Jan. 1, according to police records. One of the police officers who responded to that call, Kyley Groby, was one of the police officers the Department of Public Safety listed as being involved in the incident at Hy-Vee.
Layton, 26, of North Mankato had been at a party at an apartment in the complex and left to make a call, said Tonya Lindmark, who was at the apartment and loaned him her cellphone. Lindmark said Groby questioned her friends when they went outside looking for him.
“My friends were on the phone with him when they ran into the officer,” Lindmark said. “They told her where he might be and she admitted right there that they were looking for him because of the fight.”
Layton’s friends already had found blood in a hallway and a broken radiator as they were going outside, Lindmark said. They talked to two people who said the fight started after Layton said something to them. Those men also said Layton threw the first punch.
“We were thinking, because of all the blood, he was hurt pretty bad when he left,” Lindmark said. “When they were talking to him on the phone, he could barely talk. When they asked him where he was, he said he thought he was in a parking lot.”