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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Felipe Manrique, S.F. Man Who Tossed Hot Oil in Roommate's Face, Acquitted of Assault

Posted By on Thu, Jun 7, 2012 at 9:20 AM

click to enlarge Man overheats with rage
  • Man overheats with rage

Consider this a case of two roommates who mix about as well as oil and water.

A San Francisco jury decided Felipe Manrique, the man accused of tossing hot oil from a frying pan into his roommate's face earlier this year, was not guilty of assault and battery, saying he clearly acted in self defense.

The jury deliberated no more than 30 minutes on Wednesday afternoon before acquitting 48-year-old Manrique, who had never been arrested before. He was facing seven years in prison, said his attorney, Deputy Public Defender Matt Sotorosen.

SF Weekly readers might recall that Manrique was arrested Feb. 28 after his plans for a late-night snack were thwarted when he got into a heated argument with his new roommate, 49-year-old Pedro Torres.

However, the tension between the two restaurant workers actually started shortly

after Torres moved into the Tenderloin apartment on Feb. 1, Sotorosen said.


Torres paid Manrique $200 in rent with the promise he would give him the

remaining $100 later that week. But Torres never paid what he owed, and to make the living situation more uncomfortable, Manrique

noticed that two of his rings were missing from the bedroom the roommates had


When he asked Torres about the missing rings, he cursed him out.

Fast foward to mid-February when it became apparent Torres had no plans to

pay the remainder of the rent. Manrique told him he would have to leave

by March 1, and again asked him about the missing rings. This time, Torres exploded with anger, telling Manrique he should beat him up for that kind of accusation. 

Manrique testified in court that he was intimidated by that angry exchange.

The day of the fight, Manrique left work, drank two beers at two

local bars, and came home to make himself some breakfast. As he heated up oil to

prepare scrambled eggs and tortillas, Torres appeared in the doorway and

began staring him down, he said.

Knowing that Torres would be moving out soon, Manrique asked him a final time

about the rings. Torres "snapped," telling Manrique he was going to "kick

his ass" before lunging at him and throwing a punch, Manrique testified.

"Mr. Manrique responded by moving his right hand reflexively in

self-defense while holding the frying pan," Sotorosen said. "He did not

seek the fight. He did not instigate the fight. He only used force to

ward off the attack that had been thrust upon him."

The hot oil spilled into Torres' face. He was treated for second degree burns on his face and wrist and

released from the hospital the same day.

Both men took the stand during the four day trial, but "their stories were very different, but the jury found Mr. Manrique to be far more credible," Sotorosen said.

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.


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