Family of man beaten to death by Long Island bar bouncer reacts to manslaughter conviction

Kristin Thorne Image
Saturday, April 29, 2023
Exclusive: Family of man beaten to death by bar bouncer reacts
The family of 32-year-old Jake Scott is speaking out after he was beaten to death by a bouncer at Tailgaters Bar in Holbrook, Long Island. Kristin Thorne has the story.

HOLBROOK, Long Island (WABC) -- The family of a 32-year-old man beaten to death by a bouncer at a bar last summer on Long Island sat down exclusively with Eyewitness News to discuss the pain they are still feeling, despite the bouncer's manslaughter conviction this week.

Deborah Scott told Eyewitness News investigative reporter Kristin Thorne that not a second goes by during the day that she doesn't think of her son Jake Scott.

"I don't feel it was fair for this to happen to him," she said.

Last August, Jake Scott, of Centereach, got into an argument with bouncer David Cruz at Tailgaters Bar in Holbrook.

Cruz was reprimanding Scott because Scott had gotten into a verbal argument with another patron.

Pamela Carcano, Scott's girlfriend, said Cruz put his hand on Scott's arm and told him to stop talking.

Carcano said Scott called Cruz a "weirdo" and after that Cruz got upset.

"He wouldn't leave it alone," Carcano said of Cruz.

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Cruz can be seen on surveillance camera taunting Scott and calling him names, like "bozo" and "tough guy."

Carcano said she was able to get Scott into her car and they went back to her house.

Carcano said about two hours later, Scott went back to the bar to see his friend.

Surveillance video shows Scott sitting at the bar. He gets up to go outside to smoke a cigarette and Cruz follows after him.

Cruz begins yelling at Scott to come over to him. Scott doesn't.

Cruz takes off his security shirt and uses it to cover a surveillance camera near Scott, who was sitting in a chair smoking.

But, another camera at a nearby store was rolling when Cruz charged at Scott and punched him repeatedly in the head, cracking Scott's skull.

As he's beating him, Cruz screams at Scott to wake up. Once Cruz gets off Scott, you can hear Scott moaning as he lies lifeless on the concrete. Cruz takes his shirt off the surveillance camera, puts it back on and can be seen going over to Scott to check on him. Cruz later fled the scene, but turned himself in to police three days later.

Scott spent 11 days in the ICU before dying on September 1.

"This was not a fight," Carcano said. "This was an attack."

On Monday, a jury convicted Cruz, 32, of Medford, of manslaughter in the first degree. He faces 25 years in prison when he is sentenced May 25.

"This is not what David intended to happen," Glenn Obedin, Cruz's lawyer, said. "Whatever happened that night, that's only a little piece of who David is, not the entire story."

Obedin said the reason Cruz covered the surveillance camera was to protect his employer. Obedin said Cruz had been hired only a few months prior.

Deborah Scott is now pursuing civil action against Cruz, the owner of Tailgaters and the security company which hired Cruz.

An employee of Tailgaters testified during Cruz's trial that she called the owner of the bar earlier in the night after seeing Cruz's interaction with Scott.

"If she actually had taken some action, we wouldn't be here right now and Jake Scott would be alive," Jon Bell, Deborah Scott's attorney, said of the owner of Tailgaters.

Eyewitness News reached out to the owner of Tailgaters, as well as First Choice Protect Company - the company which hired Cruz - but they did not get back to us.


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