Police make arrest in firefighter car assault case

November 30, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
The man accused of running down a state firefighter in San Francisco last week is in custody, identified by a police officer from surveillance tape.

Eduardo Esquival, 22, was arrested on charges of attempted murder stemming from a vehicular assault that took place over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

Albert Bartal, 29, is still fighting for his life at San Francisco General Hospital. The California forestry firefighter is in critical condition still on life support.

Wednesday evening, police arrested Esquival at his home in South San Francisco. Investigators said he intentionally ran over Bartal with his car near a Jack-in-the-Box restaurant early Thanksgiving morning. Bartal and a friend had been at the restaurant when they got into a verbal argument with the suspect.

A short time later, Bartal walked to a nearby gas station where investigators say the suspect ran him down.

The suspect was captured on surveillance video. The arrest came thanks to an alert patrol officer.

"He recognized the suspect, Mr. Esquivel, from the surveillance video and he contacted inspectors," said Sgt. Michael Andraychak with SFPD. "Together, they were able to come up with an identification of the suspect."

Bartal's mother Patricia wants to thank police officers for their quick action.

"I'm really proud of them," Bartal said. "I'm really thankful for them."

Bartal remains in a coma at the hospital.


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