Truffle shop attacker chased off by 13-year-old with bat, San Francisco family says

When 13-year-old Sebastien Gorce saw a man choking his father outside their San Francisco truffle shop Monday, he grabbed a baseball bat they keep in the back, KTVU reported.

Some customers told him to put it down, but Sebastien says he feared for his father’s life, KPIX reported.

“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,” Sebastien said, according to the station.

Sebastien dashed outside and “threatened to hit the man,” who released his father and fled, KRON reported.

“He really saved my life because if he wouldn’t have done anything, he would have choked me and I would have lost consciousness,” said XOX Truffles owner Jean Marc Gorce, KTVU reported.

Police later arrested Paul Anghilante, 51, of San Francisco on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, felonious threats and false imprisonment, KPIX reported.

A security video from the North Beach neighborhood shop shows Anghilante, who is homeless, entering XOX Truffles carrying a large bag, KPIX reported.

The family says they told him to leave the Columbus Avenue shop because he was “acting crazy” in the 4 p.m. incident, KNTV reported.

In the video, Jean Marc Gorce gestures at Anghilante from behind the counter and reaches over to shove him toward the door.

The owner then walks around the counter and follows Anghilante outside.

Jean Marc Gorce said he followed Anghilante because he’d stopped just outside the door, but Gorce then tripped and fell exiting the shop, KTVU reported.

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

The security video shows Sebastien run up to the counter from the back of the shop, hesitate in confusion, then run back and emerge carrying a baseball bat before going outside.

“It just happened super fast. I went in the bathroom, get out and see them fighting, grab the bat and go and then it’s over,” Sebastien said, KTVU reported.

Police arrested Anghilante later Monday after he returned to the shop, KRON reported.

“It makes me feel proud of myself and happy, and also I did what I thought was right,” Sebastien said, KNTV reported.

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Don Sweeney has been a newspaper reporter and editor in California for more than 25 years. He has been a real-time reporter based at The Sacramento Bee since 2016.