A Medford man has been convicted for killing a bar patron during a fight outside a bar in Holbrook.
Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond A. Tierney announced on April 24 that a jury found David Cruz, 32, of Medford, guilty of manslaughter in the first degree for the 2022 beating death of Jake Scott, 32, of Centereach.
“This defendant’s job as a bouncer was to protect patrons of the establishment he worked for, and to remove anyone who posed a threat to customers, but it turned out that the only threat to the public on the night of this victim’s tragic death, was the defendant himself,” Tierney said. “This entire situation could have been de-escalated, but the defendant could not control his temper and beat Jake Scott so badly that he needed to be placed into a coma and later died due to the severity of his injuries. I am thankful that the jury paid careful attention to this case and found the defendant guilty of this violent and senseless crime.”
On August 21, 2022, Cruz was working as a bouncer at Tailgaters Bar in Holbrook when he got into a verbal dispute with Scott. According to witness testimony, Scott called Cruz a “weirdo” earlier in the evening, which might have started the argument.
At approximately 2:45 a.m., Cruz went outside of the bar and engaged in a further verbal exchange with Scott. During that exchange, Cruz repeatedly attempted to draw Scott out of view of the bar’s surveillance camera. After failing to lure Scott out of the camera’s view, Cruz walked to his vehicle and returned to the front area of the bar a short time later. Once there, Cruz dragged a chair over to the bar’s surveillance camera, stood on the chair, took off his shirt, and then covered the security camera.
Apparently unaware that a security camera from a nearby business was filming, Cruz, who stands 6 feet 5 inches tall and weighs 270 pounds, immediately began to assault Scott after he covered the bar’s security camera. The video footage depicted Cruz delivering his first punch while Scott was starting to get up from his seat as Cruz came towards him. Scott then fell onto the cement sidewalk and remained there as Cruz got on top of him, delivering more punches to Scott’s head. When Scott lay motionless and unconscious on the ground, Cruz grabbed Scott’s shirt and pulled him up, yelling at Scott to get up. When Scott did not respond, Cruz dropped him back to the ground and delivered a final blow to Scott’s head before fleeing the scene. Cruz surrendered to police three days later on August 24, 2022.
Scott was taken to Stony Brook Hospital where he was placed into a medically induced coma. While at the hospital, doctors determined Scott suffered a brain bleed, a complete skull fracture, and a traumatic brain injury. Scott remained in the hospital for eleven days before he succumbed to his injuries and passed away.
On April 24, Cruz was found guilty after a jury trial heard before Supreme Court Justice John B. Collins for the crime of first-degree manslaughter, a Class B violent felony. Cruz is due back in court on May 25 for sentencing and faces up to 25 years in prison.