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.
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.