Police seek suspect in SF car assault


Albert Bartal, a Marine veteran and a Calfire firefighter, is in critical condition at San Francisco General Hospital. The suspect, who is accused of hitting him with a car, is still at large.

Early Thanksgiving morning around 2:45 a.m., Bartal was involved in a fight with another man at a restaurant on Geary and 11th Avenue in San Francisco. The two men were separated and Bartal walked to a nearby gas station.

Police say the suspect then got into his car, drove to the gas station and struck Bartal, critically injuring him.

An attendant at the gas station heard what happened from the overnight employee.

"He sees somebody hits the guy," said Thein Tun. "He drops over there with blood and he runs away."

San Francisco police released photos of the suspect they believe got into the fight and who may have struck Bartal early Thursady morning.

"There's certain things that nobody can really explain in life," said Capt. Tim O'Donoghue with Calfire. "We've had some huge challenges over the past few years...he was a great participant in that."

Bartal, a single father of a two-year-old, spent four years in the Marine Corps, serving in Iraq and reaching the rank of sergeant. For five years, Bartal has been a seasonal firefighter working out of the Saratoga Summit fire station.

"This is a tragic event that nobody wishes to have happen to anyone," said Justin Sheaff. "I don't know what to make of it. It's just horrible."

The suspect faces attempted murder and assault charges. Anyone who recognizes the photograph of the suspect is being asked to call the San Francisco Police Department.

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