Fil-Am teen punched at San Francisco bar in alleged anti-Asian attack

18-year-old C.J. Enguillado, who is Filipino American, was punched in the face while waiting at a bar in San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood. | Screenshots courtesy of Sofia Enguillado/TikTok

A FILIPINO American teenager was reportedly the victim of an anti-Asian attack outside a San Francisco bar over the weekend.

The victim’s mother, Sofia Enguillado, posted a TikTok video that showed images of her 18-year-old son, C.J, with a bruised and swollen face after allegedly getting punched outside of Gino and Carlo, a bar on the 500 block of Green St. in the city’s North Beach neighborhood.

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“If you’re Asian, this is the type of service you get waiting for pizza in Little Italy North Beach, San Francisco,” says the caption on the now-viral video posted on Sunday, April 4.

Officers responded at about 5:27 p.m. on Friday, April 2 to a commotion on the sidewalk and found an adult male who had been struck during a physical altercation and who suffered non life-threatening injuries, as reported by CBS SF Bay Area.

C.J. Enguillado was reportedly sitting in an area outside the bar while waiting for his parents, thinking it was open seating.

According to Enguillado, the bar owner Frank Rossi repeatedly told him to leave after learning he was underaged.

The Fil-Am teen said he interpreted the request to leave as racially charged.

“By the way it sounded, he said, ‘Get the f— out of here, you don’t belong here,’ that’s what he said, and I cannot forget those words,” he told KPIX 5.

“That’s, like, traumatizing to me,” he added.

After Enguillado refused to leave because he was waiting for his parents — who were reportedly waiting to get food at a nearby pizzeria — a bystander who was also a patron of the bar punched him in the face.

Rossi, for his part, denied that the incident was due to racism. He insisted that the victim was asked to leave because of his age, not his race.

“You have to leave this area, you are not allowed in this area, this is our area. It’s considered inside the bar, even though it’s outside, it’s like a bar. You cannot – you’re under 21,’” Rossi allegedly told C.J.

He also said that he “went nuts” after a bystander got involved with the situation.

“I went nuts when he hit him, went nuts. I could not believe he did it. There was no threat, no threat. I was completely caught off guard by it,” said Rossi.

The suspect, identified as a retired professional boxer Pat Lawlor, was arrested and charged with assault and battery, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. He was cited and released on a misdemeanor battery charge.

Meanwhile, police maintained that they did not have evidence to indicate that the incident was a hate crime.

“We do not have evidence to believe this incident was predicated by hate,” police said in a statement.

Rossi told reporters that he has been receiving death threats because of the incident. His bar also received an influx of negative reviews on Yelp, prompting the website to disable reviews, saying that while it “unequivocally” rejects “racism in any form,” entries must “reflect an actual first-hand consumer experience.”

“I want to say that they’re mistaken, their son shouldn’t have been hit,” Rossi said in a message to the Enguillado family, who are accusing him of racism.

“[The arrested man] doesn’t work for us, he never did work for us. He’s just a customer. Sorry it happened, but it wasn’t racism at all, or a hate crime against Asians,” he added.

Gino and Carlo released a statement on its Yelp page on April 4:  “An unfortunate incident occurred on our property between two patrons when an underaged guest refused to leave. No Gino and Carlo employees were involved in the physical altercation. We don’t condone violence or racism of any kind. Sincerely, Frank Rossi and Gino and Carlo staff.”

Ritchel Mendiola
Ritchel Mendiola

Ritchel Mendiola is a staff writer and reporter for the Asian Journal. You can reach her at ritchel.mendiola@asianjournalinc.com.

2 Comments
  1. This was not a hate crime. This was a little punk who got less than what he deserved. He was asked to leave several times, the bar could have been given huge fines and lose their license if he was allowed to stay. He was taking up a seat on a Friday night. And no, he wasn’t ‘punched’ because he’d still be looking for his teeth. No, he got slapped. And as Mommy should know, even minor injuries in the eye area swell up a lot. Her fb page encouraged others to make death threats and fake Yelp reports. She shut down the most libelous and defamatory statements on the page, I guess someone with some sense told her to shut it. Look, I live in SF and have known about our dirty little secret of black on Asian attacks for 40 years. Making false hate crime reports makes is more difficult for real victims to be validated, and in a town where we’ve had Asian elders KILLED by haters, her fake hate crime claims are deplorable. No wonder that kid’s a mouthy, obnoxious punk, with a Karen like that for a mother. And yes, Karens come in all colors and genders. And why was an able bodied 18 year old unable to wait in line for pizza next door, and let his PARENTS sit down? This reminds me of Al Sharpton and Tawana Brawley.

  2. This was not a hate crime, and the punk had it coming. He wasn’t punched, he was slapped. Someone like Lawlor would bust bones and knock out teeth with a punch. Punk kid was mouthing off and refusing to leave an area that is designated 21 and up, and this could have resulted in fines or even the bar being shut down. Look, pal, I live in this ‘hood. I don’t need some outside agitators looking to cash in on real hate crimes. Making false reports simply insults REAL victims of hate crimes, and here in SF, we’ve had DEATHS. Including one where a elder was killed, and our DA said the perp had a ‘temper tantrum’ Attacks on Asians, almost all by blacks, is one of SF’s dirty little secret and has been common for DECADES. As for the injuries, please. Any facial injuries, no matter how insignificant, swell up, it’s how our bodies are designed. Wouldn’t surprise me if Mommy Karen (Karens come in all colors and genders) made it worse before taking pictures. Mommy Karen had libelous and defamatory assertions on her fb page, encouraging people to make fake Yelp reports as well as calling in death threats to the business owner. It’s one of SF’s best bars, I’m not a bar person, but if I were it would be my favorite place to drink! At a time when small businesses are under so much stress, for some jerk like her to make false claims, obviously looking to shake down the business, is beyond deplorable. Please don’t dump more fuel on the fire by letting this . .. )(&^ get even more publicity. We don’t take kindly to liars and hoaxers in these parts. I don’t go ‘jacking it in San Diego(South Park)’ and I don’t need tourists like that attacking MY town, MY police, and MY neighborhood.

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