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.
Thanks to SFCitizen for the tip