Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 11 / 15 March 2018

Gay man on life support after incident at Hecho bar in Castro

Abel from family

Abel Florentino (a.k.a. Abel Marquez)

The father of a gay San Francisco man who’d been acting violently at the Hecho Cantina in the Castro district Saturday night (March 11) says his son is on life support after first responders gave him a drug they shouldn’t have.

David Monroe shared with the Bay Area Reporter fire department records that say Abel Florentino, 36, was “violently causing a scene while breaking windows” at about 9 p.m. at Hecho, 2200 Market Street. When responders arrived, several people were restraining Florentino.

The records say that as Florentino continued to fight, “this crew administered 5 mg Versed IM” – a sedative also known as midazolam that’s often used before medical procedures – in an apparent effort to sedate him. As responders secured restraints on Florentino, he “became limp.”

Medical records say that about two minutes after Florentino was given versed, he was “noted to be apneic and pulseless.”

Monroe says that medical staff have told him that Florentino had methamphetamine in his system, and the records say alcohol could be smelled on his breath. The documents say that when Florentino arrived at the emergency room, he presented “for evaluation of cardiac arrest.”

Fire department records say that Florentino suffered cardiac arrest after emergency medical service providers arrived. The cause is listed as “drug overdose.”

A Gofundme page established for Florentino (who also uses his husband’s last name, Marquez) says he suffered a heart attack.

Monroe believes that the sedative is what led to Florentino being on life support, where he remains at San Francisco Zuckerberg General Hospital. (Monroe is Florentino’s stepfather but says Florentino referred to him as “Dad.”)

Police sergeants that Monroe says he’s spoken with didn’t immediately respond to the Bay Area Reporter’s requests for comment.

A fire department spokesman hasn’t responded to the B.A.R.’s messages, and a hospital spokeswoman declined to comment.

Hecho’s owners haven’t responded to interview requests.

Florentino’s family is asking any witnesses to the Hecho incident to send an email to

The Bay Area Reporter will have more on this story in the Thursday, March 23 edition.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, March 17, 2017 @ 4:38 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

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