SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — The mother of a firefighter who is in critical condition after a hit-and-run crash in San Francisco said she’s optimistic her son’s attacker will be found.
Albert Bartal, 29, who has served four years of active duty as a Marine in Iraq, got into a fight with another man at a restaurant near 11th Avenue and Geary Boulevard around 3:45 a.m. Thursday, police and Cal Fire officials said.
The men were separated and both left the restaurant. While Bartal walked to a gas station at Ninth Avenue and Geary Boulevard, the suspect got into his car, drove to the gas station and ran him down, according to police.
KCBS’ Chris Filippi Reports:
Bartal, who remains hospitalized with life-threatening injuries, has worked for the past five years as a seasonal firefighter at Cal Fire’s Saratoga Summit Fire Station in Santa Cruz County, fire Capt. Jonathan Cox said.
Seasonal firefighters generally work for six to nine months each year, and the most recent fire season had ended earlier this month, Cox said.
Patricia Bartal said it was difficult to have her only child in a coma, but she stays optimistic.
“I have faith in God,” she said. “He is still alive, and I am so thankful for that.”
Investigators have released photos and a surveillance video of the suspect taken inside the restaurant. The suspect had not been found as of this afternoon, police spokesman Officer Albie Esparza said.
Police say Bartal was intentionally hit by a black Mazda CX or a similar looking SUV, which has 12-spoke rims.
Anyone with information about the identity or whereabouts of the suspect is encouraged to call the Police Department’s anonymous tip line at (415) 575-4444 or text a tip to TIP411.
San Francisco police on Monday also announced that a relief fund has been set up for Bartal. People may make donations to account No. 1379608 at the San Francisco Police Credit Union at 2550 Irving St., CA 94122.
(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)