Roommate Exonerated in Boiling Oil Attack

A Tenderloin man is found not guilty of assault with cooking oil.

The oil did boil, but in jail he will not toil.

A Tenderloin resident charged with assault, battery, and other crimes after allegedly flinging hot cooking oil on his roommate was found not guilty of all charges -- and after only half an hour of jury deliberation, according to the San Francisco Appeal online newspaper.

Felipe Manrique, 48, was arrested Feb. 28 after allegedly burning his roommate with oil following an argument. At trial, he said his roommate -- who had not paid rent -- became angry after Manrique asked him to move out, the newspaper reported. An argument ensued, and the oil -- in a hot pan with which Manrique was cooking -- moved when he "reflexively moved the pan after the roommate had thrown a punch at him," the newspaper reported.

The roommate was treated for second-degree burns to his face and wrist and was released from the hospital the same day, according to the newspaper. As for Manrique, he faced seven years in prison.

The jury agreed with the self-defense argument quickly, exonerating Manrique after a half-hour deliberation.

"What began as a terrible accident became a criminal prosecution with Mr. Manrique locked behind bars until he could explain what really happened," Public Defender Jeff Adachi said in a statement. "Mr. Manrique acted reasonably under the circumstances and the jury agreed."

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