SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) — People gathered Saturday night to remember Frank Navarro, a Little League coach who was stabbed to death on the job.
Family and friends tried to lift their heavy hearts through song, prayer and storytelling as they honored the memory of Eastridge Little League coach.
“Words really can’t describe – doesn’t seem real to me yet,” said Joe Vasquez.
“I’ve known him our whole lives since we were playing in the Little League so it just sucks, it’s hard,” added Martin Moreno.
Frank’s viewing was packed with loved ones from his baseball and nightlife family. They leaned on each other for support.
At night, Frank worked as a security manager at Tres Gringos Club in downtown San Jose. That’s where he was stabbed to death on the job trying to intervene.
It happened last February.
Prosecutors say murder suspect Joseph Esquivel tried to get inside but was stopped at the door. He used makeup to cover up a face tattoo, since it’s against club policy and used his brother’s ID. It was confiscated and when he couldn’t get it back, he called for backup from family members and a fight broke out.
“I wish I was there with him that night,” said Greg Becerra. “I wish it would have been me. I love Frank so much, it’s just killing me inside that this happened over something so ridiculous as a piece of plastic.”
All 6 family members have been charged with murder.
Back at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds, people sported shirts that said “Eastridge Strong” to remember their coach’s motto.
“He taught me how to stay in the game, how to stay focused, and just keep my head up,” said Angeo Hernandez.
“He was a lot of kids’ hero,” said Moreno, himself included.
“Before Sunday’s burial, Frank’s casket will be escorted around the Eastridge Little League baseball fields, followed by a reception at the fairgrounds.