YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – A North Jackson man was found dead on Christmas morning in the parking lot of Cedars bar on Steel Street.
Youngstown Police say Matthew J. Lattanzi, 29, was found around 10:30 a.m. laying on the ground next to his friend’s car.
Police spoke with a witness who lives nearby, who reported hearing loud music coming from the car. He told police that as he approached the vehicle to ask that the music be turned down, he discovered Brendan J. Gauntner, 31, of Canfield yelling Lattanzi’s name and striking the car.
The witness reported that Gauntner told him that he couldn’t wake Lattanzi up.
Gauntner told police that he and Lattanzi had a few drinks at the bar, and left around 2:30 that morning.
Police say Gauntner drove both of them to his Canfield home, and Lattanzi said wanted to sleep in the car.
Around 9:00 a.m., police say Gauntner drove Lattanzi, who he said was still sleeping, back to the bar to pick up his car that was left in the parking lot.
Gauntner told police that he attempted to wake his friend several times, including by turning the music up, but was unable to.
Officers spoke with the owner of the bar, who said he knows the men and that they didn’t seem intoxicated at the bar.
While investigating the scene, police say they discovered a folded piece of lottery paper under the front driver’s side door that contained what is suspected to be heroin.