“It’s good closure.” That’s the response from Laura Aziz, mother of Yale student, Sharyar, to today’s settlement reached in San Francisco Superior Court. Sharyar came to San Francisco on a national tour with the Yale singing group “The Baker’s Dozen” at the end of 2006. They attended a New Year’s Eve party in a Richmond District home and sang the Star Spangled Banner at midnight. That’s when the trouble began. Rich Aicardi was nineteen years old at the time, a San Francisco native. He made fun of the singers and got into an argument with them. According to several witnesses, the Yale students said they didn’t want to fight. But, Aicardi called reinforcements – his brothers and several friends who were caught on surveillance camera in a van at the scene. As members of the Baker’s Dozen trickled out of the party, they were jumped – up to eight assailants on a single Yale student.
We’ve heard no reports of injuries to the San Franciscans, but several of the Yale singers suffered injuries: black eyes, sprains, a concussion, and the worst case – Sharyar Aziz’s jaw was broken in two places. It had to be wired shut; he’ll forever have two metal plates in his jaw; he suffered permanent nerve damage.
A judge threw out felony assault charges against Rich Aicardi and his friend, Brian Dwyer. Witnesses could not identify them as having attacked Yale student Evan Gogel. Prosecutors did not pursue charges against anyone for the attack on Sharyar Aziz.
Today’s settlement provides closure for the family. Under the agreement, the dollar amount will not be released, but Aziz family lawyers called it “significant”. Laura Aziz told me by phone from New York tonight that the public apologies are even more important than the money. You can read Dwyer’s here and the Aicardi brothers’ here.
There’s one loose end. Aicardi’s friend, Marino Peradotto, refused to agree to the settlement. He’s also being sued by the Aziz family for his role in the attack. Lawyers for the Aziz family tell us he’s trying to delay settling the case until he’s released from the Marines. There’s a court hearing next month. We’ll keep you up to date.