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The Boston Globe

Metro

Man arrested in bar assault in N.H., victim died

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. — ­Police say a spilled drink led a New Hampshire man to repeatedly punch another man at a bar, who later died.

Bail was set at $250,000 Wednesday for Zachary O’Neill, 24, of Dover, who was ­arraigned on a charge of first-degree assault in Portsmouth. He was arrested Tuesday.

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Joshua Krantz of Dover, 24, was found dead of a skull fracture in his apartment Saturday.

Krantz was at The Page restaurant in Portsmouth. Prosecutors said Krantz accidentally spilled a drink on O’Neill. Krantz was repeatedly struck in the head on the dance floor at about 12:45 a.m. Saturday. He did not seek medical treatment and went home, where he complained of nausea and a severe headache before going to sleep.

Police said O’Neill told them he waited until the bar was closing to hit Krantz because he ‘‘didn’t want to ruin his night.’’

The cause of death was a fractured skull resulting in an acute epidural hematoma. The manner of death is to be determined by the state medical ­examiner’s office.

Prosecutors said O’Neill had failed to appear in court on four separate occasions relating to a disorderly conduct charge stemming from a fight inside Portsmouth’s High-Hanover parking garage in January 2012. He had been free on bail for charges related to a motor vehicle stop in which he was found with a firearm and marijuana.

O’Neill is scheduled for a hearing on April 17.

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