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Santa Cruz: Two Texas friends fight downtown, one dies

Two friends from Texas visiting Santa Cruz got into a fight Friday night after drinking downtown, leaving one dead and the other under arrest for manslaughter, a Santa Cruz police reported.

Police responded to a report at 10:58 p.m. Nov. 17 of two people fighting in the 600 block of Front St., near the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History. When police arrived, a man was on the ground, unconscious. Paramedics attempted to resuscitate the man, who was transported to a nearby hospital where he later died.

“They had been friends for several years,” said Deputy Chief Jon Bush of the Santa Cruz Police Department. “It appears they were out on the town having a good time drinking, and for some reason they started arguing. We’re still trying to figure out what it is.

Police were unable to identify either man, both in their 30s, while waiting to notify the family of the man killed. The man who hit him remained at the scene and was arrested for intentional homicide.

No weapons were used during the altercation.

“It was a physical fight in which he was hit and fell to the ground,” Bush said. “We don’t know if he died from a physical blow or if he hit his head. He hit him once and knocked him down.”

“It’s probably one of those things that happens a lot,” Bush added. “Some get up, live another day. But ultimately, the way he was hit and fell caused trauma that led to his death.

Anyone with information about the incident is encouraged to contact the Santa Cruz Police Department Investigations Division at 831-420-5820.

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