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Posted on: February 1, 2023

Waiter Convicted in Stabbing Death of Busboy at Hicksville Restaurant After Argument Over Tips

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David Jimenez-Salazar stabbed 37-year-old Elvin Padilla in the neck with broken liquor bottle and killed him

MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Anne T. Donnelly announced that a waiter at a Hicksville restaurant was convicted at trial yesterday of Manslaughter for the stabbing death of his co-worker, a busboy at the eatery, after the two argued over tips in July 2020.

David Jimenez Salazar, 25, of Farmingdale, was convicted after a jury trial before Judge Howard Sturim of Manslaughter in the First Degree (a B felony).

The trial began on January 24, 2023, and the jury delivered their verdict on the second day of deliberations on January 31, 2023. The defendant faces up to 25 years in prison when he is sentenced on March 16, 2023.

“Thirty-seven-year-old Elvin Padilla called out sick on July 16, 2020, but after learning of a staff shortage, the dedicated employee took the shift – it would be the last he would ever work,” said DA Donnelly. “That evening, the defendant shorted Padilla $20 in tips he was owed, and an argument broke out between the men that would end Elvin Padilla’s life. In a rage, the defendant plunged a broken bottle into the victim’s neck leaving the father of two to die on the floor of the restaurant. We thank the jury for their decision and continue to keep Elvin Padilla’s family in our thoughts.”

DA Donnelly said that, on July 16, 2020, at approximately 10:39 p.m. at the La Candela Restaurant in Hicksville, the defendant, a waiter at the restaurant, began arguing with the victim, 37-year-old Elvin Padilla, a busboy at the same restaurant, about tip money.

At the time, because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on restaurants and employees, the restaurant’s ownership instituted a policy that waiters were to share 30% of total tips with busboys. That evening, Padilla accused the defendant of under-tipping him for his night’s work and shorting him $20.

As the argument continued, Padilla threw his tip money back at the defendant and pushed him. The defendant and victim then began shoving each other until the defendant left the area.

Padilla exited the kitchen shortly after and entered the bar area of the restaurant where the defendant was waiting for him. Salazar picked up a glass vodka bottle and swung it at Padilla, striking him. The defendant then broke the bottle on the counter, leaving a jagged-edged bottle neck, and swung it again at Padilla, stabbing him in the jugular.

When police arrived at the restaurant, the victim was found lying on the floor and pronounced deceased.

Salazar was arrested at the scene by members of the Nassau County Police Department’s Eighth Precinct.

Senior Litigation Counsel Tracy Keeton of the Homicide Bureau is prosecuting the case. Salazar is represented by Karl Seman, Esq.

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