Witnesses: Sucker punch led to head hitting floor in Portsmouth bar assault


PORTSMOUTH, N.H. (MyFoxBoston.com) – Prosecutors in Portsmouth, N.H. said a man died after another man punched him in the head at a bar over the weekend.

Zachary O'Neil, of Dover, was held on $250,000 bail in connection with the attack. Police said O'Neil attacked 24-year-old Joshua Krantz at The Page bar on Friday, knocking him to the ground. When Krantz hit the ground, witnesses told police that O'Neil continued punching him until the fight was broken up.

Krantz was able to leave the bar on his own power, but told a friend that he had a headache and covered his face with a jacket, according to court documents. His friends left him at home after he told them he wanted to go to sleep.

The next day, Krantz was found dead in his bed.

Police said bar employees identified O'Neill as the attacker. He reportedly told police that he attacked Krantz because Krantz had spilled a drink on him. He said he waited until the bar was closing to attack him because he didn't want to ruin Krantz's night.

Detectives said that during a search of his apartment O'Neill said, "I don't see what the big deal is...it was just a bar fight."

A witness told police that O'Neill delivered a "haymaker"-type punch to Krantz behind his ear. The witness said that the punch caused Krantz to fall and strike his head on the floor.

The bar's owner said Krantz wasn't bleeding and was conscious and talking after the attack. Police said he refused to be taken to a hospital by ambulance.

Police say this isn't O'Neill's first brawl. He was out on bail for another fight in Portsmouth. He is now facing one count of assault.

The New Hampshire Medical Examiner said Krantz died from complications from having a fractured skull, but has not ruled Krantz's death a homicide at this time. Police said more charges could follow depending on the outcome of an autopsy.

An investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to call police at 603-610-7529.

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