JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A charge of aggravated battery was upgraded to manslaughter against a Dave & Buster’s employee who was arrested following a fight last month that resulted in a co-worker’s death, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday.
According to the Sheriff’s Office, Cordell Russell, 34, and his co-worker Thony Roy, 28, got into a fight on Jan. 21 at the business’s location on the Southside.
Witnesses told police that Russell, a cook, had worked all day and was in a bad mood, according to JSO. Roy told Russell to put some food down, and Russell snapped back, saying, “I’m a grown [***] man! Don’t talk to me like that!” before the fight started, witnesses said.
When JSO arrived at the arcade and restaurant, police said, Roy was unresponsive. He was transported to a hospital, where he was placed on life support. According to police, medical professionals determined Russell had no brain activity, and he died Jan. 25 — four days after the fight.
Police said Russell was quickly identified as a person of interest and was arrested on the day of the fight on a charge of aggravated battery. After Roy’s death, according to JSO, homicide detectives took over the investigation. The charge was then upgraded against Russell and he was re-arrested on a charge of manslaughter, police said.
Dave & Buster’s issued a statement to News4JAX:
“Our thoughts and sympathies are with the victim and his family at this terrible time. 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 relatives are heartbroken and upset, the family’s attorney said. A funeral service for Roy will be held Saturday in Orange Park. Roy’s family also started a GoFundMe to help with funeral and medical expenses.
As of Wednesday, Russell remained in the Duval County jail, jail records show.
According to court records, Russell pleaded guilty to aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and was sentenced in 2017.