By Joe Vazquez

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A San Francisco truffle shop owner says he was getting strangled by an unruly stranger Monday when he was saved by his 13-year-old son who grabbed a baseball bat and fended off the attacker.

Jean Marc Gorce of XOX Truffles posted about the attack on Facebook:

“He grabbed the baseball bat we have in the back to come to my rescue. And the homeless [man] stopped strangling me…Very scary,” the post read.

 

Surveillance video captured the moments before the attack. It shows a man walking into XOX Truffles with a large bag. Gorce said he recognized the attacker because he had been sleeping on the sidewalk earlier in the day.

The owner tells him he has to leave.  After a few words were exchanged, they walk out the door. The owner trips and falls.

That is when the suspect attacked the shop owner, according to the report, and attempted to strangle him with a choke-hold.

“He jumped on me,” said Gorce. “Got me in a headlock. I was suffocating. One of the customers at the table said, ‘Oh, let him stop the fight.’ And the [attacker] said, ‘Oh, don’t worry. I won’t kill him. I just want want him to pass out.'”

As he was in a choke hold and struggling to breathe, Gorce said only a few people stopped to watch, but nobody stepped in right away.

“I was screaming for help,” Gorce said. “‘Help, somebody help me!’ Because he had me really good. And I could not move. And I thought I was going to pass out. But my hero here helped me and that was it.”

The hero who saved the day was Gorce’s own 13-year-old son Sebastian, who made a quick decision to rescue his dad by retrieving a baseball bat.

“I grabbed the bat and I go outside,” said Sebastian Gorce. “The civilians who were sitting down there. the customers who were telling me not to do anything. They were telling me to put down the bat and stuff. It was a weird feeling because you don’t know whether to act on your own instinct or act on what the population is saying.”

“I decided to hold it up,” continued Sebastian. “I was trying to aim for his head and his ribs and stuff. And when he saw I was getting ready to hit him he kind of let go. And that was the point when it kind of stopped the fight.”

Jean Marc Gorce did not immediately call police, because he has dealt with street people before and there’s only so much police were able to do.

But this time, two hours later, he said the suspect came back and took a nap right on the sidewalk outside. The shop owner called 911 and police arrested 51-year old Paul Anghilante.

A San Francisco resident, Anghilante is in jail on three felony charges — assault with a deadly weapon, felonious threats and false imprisonment.

According to court documents, a man with the same name and date of birth was convicted of possession of methamphetamine in Oregon in 2017.

He was sentenced to time served — nine days in the county jail — and also 18 months probation and had his license suspended.

When shown the mugshot, Gorce and his son both said they were sure it was him. A police source told KPIX 5 he was highly confident it is the same man.

XOX Truffles is internationally-known. Tour guides often include the shop as one of their sights to see.

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