Murder Suspect Arrested on Vacation in Florida

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Hartford Police
    Mike Cruz, a suspect in the murder of Brian Simpe, was arrested by the pool at Disney World.

    The suspect in the murder of a 19-year-old man outside “Up or on the Rocks” nightclub in Hartford earlier this month was arrested at a restaurant while on vacation in Orlando, Florida, police said.

    Mike Cruz, 23, whose last known address was in East Hartford, was arrested on Friday, according to police.

    He has been charged with the murder of Brian Simpe, 19, of Manchester,.

    Simpe was shot in the chest outside the club around 2 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 4.

    Police said the fight that started inside the nightclub and continued on the street after the club closed was over a girl.

    Simpe’s friends said he was trying to break up that fight when he was shot.

    Police had identified Cruz as a suspect and obtained an arrest warrant on Aug. 20, charging him with murder, reckless endangerment in the first degree and criminal possession of a pistol/revolver.

    Detectives obtained information that Cruz had planned a Disney vacation. U.S. federal marshals and the fugitive task force, working with the major crimes division detectives, found him by the pool in Orlando and took him into custody at a nearby restaurant on International Drive, police said.

    He is being held in Florida pending extradition.

    Cruz had been arrested six times before in Hartford for violation including narcotics sales and various gun offenses.

    He is being held on a $2 million bond.

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