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Waiter Sentenced to Eight Years in Prison for Killing Busboy at Hicksville Restaurant

David Jimenez-Salazar stabbed 37-year-old Elvin Padilla in the neck with broken liquor bottle after an argument over tips

MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Anne T. Donnelly announced that a waiter at a Hicksville restaurant was sentenced today to eight years in prison for stabbing and killing his co-worker in July 2020 after an argument about tip money.

David Jimenez Salazar, 25, of Farmingdale, was convicted after a jury trial before Judge Howard Sturim on January 31, 2023, of Manslaughter in the First Degree (a B felony). He was sentenced today to eight years in prison and five years’ post release supervision. The NCDA recommended a sentence of 22 years in prison and five years’ post release supervision.

“During the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, when the restaurant industry and its employees were struggling, Elvin Padilla just wanted his fair share of tips for his shift. His ask – and the argument that ensued – ended up costing him his life,” said DA Donnelly. “The enraged defendant thrust a jagged bottle into the victim’s neck and killed him. We hope that the defendant’s conviction and today’s jail sentence bring some comfort to Elvin Padilla’s family as they continue to mourn his loss.”

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, 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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