Victim of Arroyo Grande sucker punch dies
November 13, 2014
A 38-year-old Arroyo Grande man who was violently assaulted by a gang member outside a bar last month died from his injuries last week, according to the Arroyo Grande Police Department.
On Oct. 2, Ignacio Franco Palomar, 36, struck Gregory Arthur Rustigian from behind, knocking him to the ground and causing his head to hit a concrete curb. Rustigian suffered serious head injuries and entered into a coma, in which he lasted until he died on Nov. 7.
Sources say the assault stemmed from Rustigan being a little intoxicated and flirting with Palomar’s cousin inside Ralph and Duane’s Bar in Arroyo Grande. Rustigan did not realize that Palomar was a documented gang member with violent tendencies.
After the attack, Palomar evaded capture for nearly a month.
Surveillance cameras had not been working outside of Ralph and Duane’s, according to police. Cameras were functioning inside the bar, though.
On Oct. 31, Arroyo Grande detectives tracked Palomar to a Fresno neighborhood where he was hiding out. They arrested him with help from the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Marshal’s Task Force.
Palomar initially faced charges of assault likely to produce great bodily injury and battery with great bodily injury. Prosecutors will now amend the charges to include something ranging from manslaughter to murder.