According to a press release sent by SFPD, a man suspected to be a driver who critically injured a Cal Fire firefighter by intentionally striking him with a vehicle in the city’s Richmond District early Thanksgiving morning has been arrested.

Albert Bartal, 29, who has served four years of active duty as a Marine in Iraq, got into a fight with another man at a restaurant near 11th Avenue and Geary Boulevard around 3:45 a.m. Thursday, police and Cal Fire officials said. According to SFPD, this other participant in the fight was allegedly 22 year old, Eduardo Shaparo Esquivel of South San Francisco.

Bartal and Esquivel were separated and both left the restaurant. While Bartal walked to a gas station at Ninth Avenue and Geary Boulevard, Esquivel allegedly got into his car, drove to the gas station and ran him down, according to police.

Bartal, who remains hospitalized with life-threatening injuries, has worked for the past five years as a seasonal firefighter at Cal Fire’s Saratoga Summit Fire Station in Santa Cruz County, fire Capt. Jonathan Cox said.

Seasonal firefighters generally work for six to nine months each year, and the most recent fire season had ended earlier this month, Cox said.

Investigators released photos and a surveillance video of the suspect taken inside the restaurant. According to SFPD, an SFPD officer from a district station viewed the surveillance video and recognized the suspect, which lead to his identification and arrest shortly before midnight last night, at his residence in South SF.

suspect.car.11.25.jpg

Esquivel is currently held on felony charges for mayhem, attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, and assault with great bodily injury.

According to SFPD, they are asking for the public’s help to find the vehicle used in the crime, “a black SUV possibly a Ford Edge or Mazda style CX with front end damage.” If you have any details on the crime, you’re urged to call SFPD at (415)575-4444 or text-a-tip to TIP411.

A relief fund was set up for Bartal earlier this week. People may make donations to account No. 1379608 at the San Francisco Police Credit Union at 2550 Irving St., CA 94122.

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the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at eve@sfappeal.com.

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  • xoconostle

    SF Appeal ran the perp’s photo three days before the Chron ran it as “breaking news.” As of this comment, there are no follow-up stories at their site regarding Esquivel’s arrest. Kudos re: superior local coverage!

  • xoconostle

    SF Appeal ran the perp’s photo three days before the Chron ran it as “breaking news.” As of this comment, there are no follow-up stories at their site regarding Esquivel’s arrest. Kudos re: superior local coverage!

  • renegade

    No wonder it took almost a week to find the perp, he was hiding in south city. As for the vehicle, Esquivel should hold the answer as to which chopshop it’s in.

  • renegade

    No wonder it took almost a week to find the perp, he was hiding in south city. As for the vehicle, Esquivel should hold the answer as to which chopshop it’s in.