San Francisco police arrest suspect in hit-and-run of Cal Fire firefighter

The suspect wanted on suspicion of intentionally running over and critically injuring a San Francisco war veteran with his sport utility vehicle on Thanksgiving has been arrested, San Francisco police said Wednesday.

Eduardo Shaparo Esquivel, 22, was detained at his home in South San Francisco shortly before midnight Tuesday. He did not attempt to flee, police Sgt. Mike Andraychak said.

He was booked on felony charges of attempted murder, mayhem, assault with a deadly weapon and assault with great bodily injury, police said.

Esquivel allegedly struck Albert Bartal, 29, of San Francisco, with his SUV in the Shell gas station parking lot at Geary Boulevard and Ninth Avenue around 2:45 a.m.

Bartal, a Cal Fire firefighter, single father and Iraq war veteran, suffered severe head trauma and remains in critical condition at San Francisco General Hospital.

Esquivel wanted revenge following a fight with Bartal in a nearby Jack in the Box restaurant, Andraychak said.

Video surveillance at the eatery caught the fight. A police officer who saw the footage recognized Esquivel, Andraychak said.

The officer had seen Esquivel on the night of the crime in the Broadway nightclub area, Andraychak said. Investigators haven’t said why Esquivel was known to police.

Police are still seeking the public’s help in locating the SUV. The vehicle is a black SUV, possibly a Ford Edge or Mazda-style CX, with front-end damage, police said.

Also, they ask that any witnesses who can identify Esquivel as the driver to call police at (415) 575-444 or text-a-tip to TIP411

Meanwhile, a relief fund has been established for Albert Bartal, with donations being accepted at the San Francisco Police Credit Union. People may donate at the SFPCU at 2550 Irving St. The account number is 1379608.

Bartal has worked as a seasonal firefighter for the past five years at the Saratoga Summit Fire Station in Santa Clara County, according to Capt. Jonathan Cox of Cal Fire.

He also served as a Marine for four years and spent time in Iraq.

maldax@sfexaminer.com

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