One man arrested in Inner Harbor attack

Police have arrested a 23-year-old man in connection with the beating and robbery of four men outside an Inner Harbor hotel. Police were led to the suspect after a hotel security guard inquired about a piece of evidence left at the scene.

Four men, who police said were highly intoxicated, said they were attacked as they stood outside the Intercontinental Hotel in the 500 block of Light St. in the early morning of Oct. 24. As a group of six people walked by, one of them asked if the group standing outside the hotel was laughing at him, and punched one of the men in the face.

That led to a fight, sending the four men to University of Maryland Medical Center with injuries. One victim's wallet was taken during the fight, and one of the attackers dropped a cell phone.

According to court records, two days later, a security guard at the hotel asked a co-worker if an iPhone had been left behind after the attack. The security guard said that "his boys" had "laid a beating" on some men and that one of them had dropped their phone.

The security guard said he worked with one of the suspects at the Tremont Hotel in the 200 block of St. Paul St. The co-worker alerted his supervisors, and detectives were able to learn the identity of one of the suspects — Earl Cruz Jr.

In an interview with detectives, Cruz said he had been at a party on a boat at the Inner Harbor and that one of the victims made "some sort of comment" that one of his friends took offense to, sparking the fight.

One of the victims had told police that Cruz chased him through the hotel lobby, which was recorded on hotel security cameras, and pulled a knife. Cruz denied that he had a knife.

Cruz was arrested Oct. 28 and released the next day on $2,000 bond. Police had not arrested the other suspects named in the charging documents.

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