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Jul-16-2012

Attorney for Jack in the Box hit n’ run defendant says his client was punched first

Early Thanksgiving morning in 2011, a fight broke out between two men at the Jack in the Box on Geary at 11th Avenue. It later escalated to a tragic hit and run incident two blocks away at the Shell gas station. The victim, Albert Bartal, still remains in critical condition.

Police eventually arrested Eduardo Shaparo Esquivel, a 22-year old South San Francisco man who was identified from security footage from inside the Jack in the Box during the initial fight. That footage, which was released to the public, showed Esquivel in the restaurant before the fight broke out.

But today, the attorney for Esquivel, Tito Torres, released some unseen footage from that night inside Jack in the Box, that paints the victim, Albert Bartal, in a different light.

The footage shows Bartal aggressively charging Esquivel, punching and pushing him, eventually out of sight of the security camera.

“The young man, Mr. Bartal, rushes around the manager and sort of, almost leaping, just out of nowhere, strikes Mr. Shaparo in the face and then tackles him like he’s a pit bull,” said attorney Tito Torres to Channel 7 News.

While the video shows a piece of the incident that was previously unseen, it’s still unclear what was said between the two men, or what may have prompted Bartal to cross the restaurant and attack Esquivel.

But let’s keep in mind what Esquivel is accused of: getting in his car, following Bartal as he walked down Geary and running him over in the Shell gas station, then leaving the scene. It took police nearly 48 hours to identify and arrest Esquivel. He’s being held with felony charges for mayhem, attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, and assault with great bodily injury.

Bartal suffered brain damage and is still in a coma today.

So whatever transpired in Jack in the Box, be it harsh words and/or some punches, I think the defense better do more than release video like this if they want to paint Equivel in a better light. He’s accused of a very brutal crime.

Sarah B.

Thanks to SFCitizen for the tip

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10:35 am | Posted under Crime | 5 comments
  1. EricP said (07/16/12; 12:45 pm):

    If the authorities originally released video showing that the defenant was in the restaurant (to bolster heir case), then the authorities should have released the fight footage as well to be fair to the defendant.

  2. Tom said (07/16/12; 10:18 pm):

    Regardless of who threw the first punch, this does not, under the law, justify Esquivel’s behavior at the gas station. He can’t claim self-defense b’se once Bartals left the JIB, Esquivel was no longer endangered. So, I’m not sure it matters who did what to whom at JIB. Hopefully, the DA will see it the same way.

  3. Today’s Headlines | Streetsblog San Francisco said (07/17/12; 9:33 am):

    […] Defendant Who Intentionally Ran Over Man on Geary Says “He Hit Me First” (Richmond District) […]

  4. rico t. said (07/17/12; 11:08 am):

    Without question, there was definitely a horrible crime committed. And as the media plays the sympathy card for the victim, it is just as fair for the accused to shed some light to his case, that he was not the initial aggressor. And although the end still does not justify the means. It is still a horrible & tragic crime that could have been avoided. — Only if the accused, had flagged/called the police to charge the aggressor with battery, this would have taken a totally different route. This also would have taken a different route, if there had been a responsible JIB MANAGER. A fight had just broken out (a crime) in your establishment & you did what??? Did the manager even call the police?? — In short, the accused will most likely get the maximum amount of time (i.e. Life in Prison) for the crime committed, with a chance of Parole.. which may be as soon as 5-15 years.

  5. Phil said (07/17/12; 6:49 pm):

    In fact, if you are assaulted on the street – or anywhere else – and in self-defense you either have disabled your attacker or have him/her on the run, you *cannot* (by law) continue to pursue and assault your attacker. If you do, your attacker AND you will be charged with criminal assault. Always, the best thing to do is to avoid the conflict. Be aware that we essentially make ourselves angry when someone insults us, because we have chosen to take their words to heart, and given the insulting person’s words a power that would otherwise not have been the case.

    If you cannot avoid the conflict, do whatever you can to either dispatch or disable your attacker and then call the police, or have a witness call the police. Again, do *not* pursue your attacker if s/he has been disabled by your self-defensive maneuvers, or you will be subject to arrest.

    btw, running away is the best defense!

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