Dave & Buster's employee dies days after cook attacks him at work, Florida cops say

  • In US
  • 2023-02-02 18:27:45Z
  • By Miami Herald

A Dave & Buster's employee died days after he was attacked by a cook while at work, according to a Florida sheriff's office.

Officers responded to a fight at a Dave & Buster's in Jacksonville just after 1:45 p.m. on Jan. 21, according to an arrest and booking report from the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

A witness told deputies that the cook, later identified as Cordell Bentley Russell, 34, was in a "bad mood" that day, the report says.

The victim said, "Put the food right there," in a "strong tone," the report says, and Russell became angry. The victim's family later identified him as Thony Roy, 28.

Russell responded, "I'm a grown (expletive) man, don't talk to me like that!" the report says.

The next part of the report was redacted by the sheriff's office.

The witness told deputies that they saw Russell walking away as Roy was "gasping for air and his heart was racing," the report says. Roy then started "foaming at the mouth," according to the report.

Paramedics arrived, started performing CPR and took Roy to a hospital, according to the report.

Doctors later told deputies that Roy had a pulse but that he was possibly "brain dead," the report says.

Deputies found the cook at his sister's house later that evening and arrested him. He was originally charged with aggravated battery causing bodily harm, according to the sheriff's department.

On Jan. 25, hospital staff told deputies that Roy had died, according to the report. A medical examiner determined his cause of death to be homicide by blunt force head trauma, the report says.

Russell's charge was "upgraded" to manslaughter and he was arrested again on Jan. 31, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

A spokesman for Dave & Buster's said in a statement that the restaurant company was assisting police with the investigation.

"Our thoughts and sympathies are with the victim and his family at this terrible time," the statement says. "The safety of our team members and guests is our priority and we are doing everything possible to support the police in their investigation."

Roy's mother and two of his sisters said in a statement through their lawyer, Landon Stinson, that he was the youngest of six siblings and the "baby of the family."

"Thony was quiet and thoughtful," the statement says. "And he loved to eat. Especially his mother's homecooked Haitian meals."

Roy was a hard worker and dedicated to doing the right thing, the family's statement says. He was a "driven and committed person" and also "peaceful and loving."

"As you can imagine, our family is absolutely devastated right now," the statement says. "We want answers, of course. We want justice for Thony."

A GoFundMe organized by one of Roy's brothers says that Roy enjoyed spending time with his friends and family, especially his nieces and nephews. He said the siblings often called themselves "the big six."

"Thony was a young man that had a free spirit and loved to laugh," it says. "He had a smile and personality that lit up the room."

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