San Francisco News

Relief fund established for car assault victim

Monday, November 28, 2011
Albert Bartal Hit-and-run suspect

A state firefighter and war veteran is currently dealing with the battle of his life. Albert Bartal is in critical condition after being run down by a car, and witnesses say the man who hit him did so deliberately.

Bartal is a California forestry firefighter, a former Marine sergeant who served in Iraq, a father of two-year-old Elizabeth, and son of Patricia Bartal.

"Loving, caring, respectful, a wonderful father, just the best son any mother could want," she said.

A son who's now fighting for his life at San Francisco General Hospital.

"He endured eight hours of surgery. He's endured four days on life support," said Bartal's mother. "I believe God has a purpose for his life and I don't believe that purpose ended on Thursday."

Thursday, early Thanksgiving morning, the 29-year-old and a friend stopped by Jack in the Box on Geary and 11th Avenue. They got into an argument with a man. After the altercation, Bartal walked to a nearby gas station. Investigators say the suspect got into his car, followed Bartal and ran him down.

This particular Jack in the Box is one of the few places in the west side of the city which stays open 24 hours. Investigations Commander Mike Biel says it's been a source of concern for police.

"We've had issues in the past," said Biel. "I believe the Community Advisory Board has spoken to the owner and manager of the premises to request additional security and additional lighting there outside and inside."

But neighborhood businesses say little has changed.

"The Richmond station, they've had a lot of issues over here," said business owner Ray Rex. "Fights. problems in the parking lot, noise complaints."

"I don't know why they can't have a security guard that keeps everybody away," said Hearth Bar bartender Marianne McCarty.

Bartal suffers from very serious head trauma and there is no prognosis yet. But his mother tells ABC7 that "as long as he draws a breath, she has hope."

Bartal's fellow firefighters from the California Division of Forestry have set up a trust fund for his daughter and also to help pay for his medical bills.

Albert Bartal Relief Fund
C/O the San Francisco Police Credit Union
2550 Irving Street, CA. 94122
(Account # 1379608)

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Tags:
crime, hit and run, san francisco news, vic lee
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