Crime

Oceano man arrested in assault outside bar faces life in prison

Ignacio Franco Palomar, 36, of Oceano was arrested Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014, on suspicion of assault likely to produce great bodily injury and battery with great bodily injury. Original story »
Ignacio Franco Palomar, 36, of Oceano was arrested Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014, on suspicion of assault likely to produce great bodily injury and battery with great bodily injury. Original story »

A man accused of delivering a fatal sucker punch outside an Arroyo Grande bar faces 36 years to life in prison after he was charged with voluntary manslaughter.

If convicted, Ignacio Franco Palomar, 36, of Oceano, would be sentenced to 25 years to life under California’s three-strikes law. His sentence would be further exacerbated as a result of previous non-strike convictions, according to a criminal complaint filed Wednesday by the District Attorney’s Office.

According to court records, Palomar, who is 6 feet tall and 250 pounds, struck Gregory Rustigian, 38, from behind as Rustigian was exiting Ralph and Duane’s bar in Arroyo Grande on Oct. 2. Rustigian fell to the ground, hitting his head on concrete. Rustigian was in a coma for over a month until he died Nov. 7.

Palomar, a documented gang member, has prior convictions for assault, cruelty to a child, threatening witnesses and drug offenses.

He is due to appear in court for an arraignment Monday.

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