Baker's Dozen singer files civil suit
against assault suspects
Attorneys Jim Hammer, Whitney Leigh and Matt Gonzalez held a press
conference to announce details of a civil law suit filed by their
client, Sharyar Aziz Jr., against five men
in connection with a San Francisco New Year's Eve party that turned
By Brent Begin, Bay City News
March 14, 2007
SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) - A member of a famed Yale University
choral group has filed a civil lawsuit against five men in connection
with a San Francisco New Year's Eve party that turned violent.
Sharyar Aziz Jr., 18, sustained a fractured jaw and nerve and
tooth damage in what the lawsuit refers to as a "senseless
and premeditated attack carried out by a gang of thugs."
Sharyar Aziz Jr.
Screenshot courtesy KGO-TV/DT
But the San Francisco district attorney's office has not charged
anyone in Aziz's beating. Instead, formal charges have only been
brought against Richard Aicardi and Brian Dwyer, both 19, in the
beatings of two other Baker's Dozen members.
District Attorney Kamala Harris said there wasn't enough evidence
to charge any other suspects, and that Aziz wasn't able to make
San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris
Lawyers for Aziz, however, said today that with a gang attack,
there only needs to be circumstantial evidence to charge someone.
The lawsuit names three other men in the incident, Aicardi's
20-year-old twin brothers, Michael and James Aicardi, and Marino
Aziz's lawyer, Jim Hammer, said that Peradotto is now a marine
Attorney Jim Hammer
The incident drew national media attention in part because police
failed to make an arrest that night and because the fight occurred
after the defendants mocked a performance by the singing group
of the "Star Spangled Banner."
In the lawsuit, the plaintiff claims that after the group sung
the song, Aicardi, Dwyer and some of their friends "rendered
their own derisive parody of the anthem, to insult and attempt
to provoke plaintiff and other Yale students into a confrontation."
But the Baker's Dozen members didn't cave in to the threats,
according to the lawsuit.
Despite being "pushed, slapped and struck" they didn't
resort to violence and instead left the home in small groups to
go to the house where they were sleeping, only a few blocks away.
Once outside, the lawsuit says, the group was confronted and
attacked, a version of events that defense lawyers strongly dispute.
Frank Passaglia, who represents Aicardi, maintains that the Baker's
Dozen group had made threats of their own and that once outside,
both groups engaged in mutual and drunken combat.
Aicardi has already pleaded not guilty to criminal charges against
him in the incident. He is out of jail on $120,000 bail.
The lawsuit seeks an unspecified sum from the defendants in an
"attempt to seek justice."
The Aziz family has pledged to donate any money recovered in
the suit to charity.
"The Aziz family wishes to convey that their only purpose
in filing this suit is to seek justice against the men who brutally
attacked their son..." a statement from the Gonzalez and
Leigh law firm read.
"Thus far, the SF District Attorney has failed to file
charges against any of the perpetrators of the attack against
Sharyar Jr., in spite of clear evidence identifying them. The
Aziz family wants to make clear that this lawsuit is simply an
attempt to seek justice."