UPDATED: Man arrested in Rochester in assault of Dover man who died after beating at Portsmouth barBy GRETYL MACALASTER
Union Leader Correspondent
April 09. 2013 9:34PM
BREAKING: Portsmouth police say that Zachary O'Neil, wanted on a charge of first-degree assault in connection with the case of a Dover man who was found dead Saturday, was arrested in Rochester by N.H. state police.
O'Neil is being held for arraignment at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday in Portsmouth District Court.
An earlier story follows:
Portsmouth detectives have an active warrant for Zachary O'Neil for first-degree assault in connection with the case of a Dover man who was found dead Saturday.
O'Neil, 24, is actively being sought by police. He is described as 6 feet tall, 200 pounds, with brown hair, blue eyes, and a scar between his eyes. He lives at 12 New York St., Dover.
O'Neil is currently charged with first-degree assault. Police said the State Medical Examiner's Office has not yet ruled the death a homicide.
The previous story follows:
PORTSMOUTH - Police are investigating whether a fight at The Page bar and restaurant early Saturday morning led to the death of a young man later that day.
Police were called to the Dover apartment of Joshua Krantz, 24, just before 11:30 a.m. on Saturday morning after he was found by his roommates, in bed and unresponsive, Portsmouth Deputy Police Chief Corey MacDonald said.
Dover police began a standard investigation into Krantz's whereabouts in the 24 to 48 hours before his death and discovered that he had been at The Page in Portsmouth with friends Friday night into Saturday morning.
Portsmouth police learned that Krantz had been involved in an unprovoked assault at the bar. MacDonald said Krantz was punched first from behind and then repeatedly in the head around 12:30 a.m. while on the lower-level dance floor, but the assault went unreported and Krantz did not request medical attention.
The manner of Krantz's death is still pending investigation by the state Medical Examiner's Office. The investigation so far has revealed that Krantz's death resulted from a fractured skull.
MacDonald said interviews and a review of evidence in the investigation, which has been ongoing since Saturday morning, has revealed a suspect in the assault, but no other information has been released.
The Page and the surrounding area have been the primary scene for the city's most vicious and public assaults in recent years.
"When you look at Portsmouth, it has well over 100 liquor licenses out there and certainly many of our issues at this point in time seem to be centered around that Vaughan Mall area," MacDonald said.
In January, a woman became the last of four suspects sentenced in the brutal July 2011 beating of Army veteran and Purple Heart recipient Steven Bohn outside The Page after an altercation inside.
MacDonald said it is the police department's job to carry out the community's objectives, not to set the standard, and he said it remains to be seen how the community will react to yet another assault in the area.
Within an hour of being established Tuesday, a Facebook page titled "Shut the Page Down" had already garnered 166 "likes" and in the comments people were referring to the restaurant as a "disgrace."
Officers are already conducting additional bar patrols and liquor enforcement, but the department only has so many resources, MacDonald said.
"We can't just put a police officer inside The Page, which some people have suggested," he said. "Everybody deserves a police presence and we have a lot of responsibilities."
According to Krantz's obituary, he grew up in Epping and was an avid football fan from childhood, playing first with Nor-Rock Pop Warner and then playing four years for the Epping High School team before graduating in 2006. He later completed an associate's degree program in business management at Great Bay Community College and was employed as an enrollment account specialist at Bottomline Technologies in Portsmouth.
Memorial calling hours are Wednesday from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. in the Brewitt Funeral Home, 9 Pleasant St., Epping. A memorial service is Thursday at 11 a.m. in Epping Community Church.
Police have asked anyone who witnessed the events surrounding the assault to contact them at 610-7529, or they can remain anonymous by calling Seacoast Crime Stoppers at 431-1199.