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.

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.

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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.