San Diego Man: A San Diego man who assisted a woman on an MTS bus in April is being hailed as a Good Samaritan by some and is scheduled to appear in court on Thursday.
After restraining another passenger who became involved in a brawl and eventually passed away, Edward Hilbert is accused of involuntary manslaughter.
They are suing the MTS, claiming that it should have taken precautions to protect its passengers, and they feel that the bus driver ought to have intervened to halt the conflict.
“It has been an absolute nightmare,” said Angela McGaff, Anthony’s mother. “The pain has been immeasurable.”
Anthony McGaff’s parents claimed that their son’s passing might have been avoided if the MTS had given enough protection on board Bus 235 on the evening of April 30.
“My son is dead,” added James Smith, Anthony’s father. “There is no resolve… I can’t rewind it.”
McGriff was riding the bus when it allegedly got into a fight with a passenger while traveling along F Street around 14th Street, according to the police.
Edward Hilbert, a 55-year-old passenger, also passenger, held McGaff in place for a while. According to the authorities, McGaff collapsed and experienced medical problems. Later, he was transferred to a nearby hospital, where he passed away.
Ultimately, Hilbert was charged by the district attorney’s office with involuntary manslaughter, a crime with a maximum sentence of four years in jail. McGriff has entered a not-guilty plea.
Heather Boxeth, Hilbert’s defense lawyer, told CBS 8 that she stands by her earlier statements after Hilbert’s arrest in July.
At that time, she said, “We are extremely disappointed in the District Attorney’s office for charging what turned out to be a tragic accident,” and also stated that her client was not the only passenger on board “aiding in defense of a woman being attacked.”
The defense attorney for Hilbert added, “I think this does make it very clear that you do not want to act as a Good Samaritan… it sends a feeble community statement.”
However, McGaff’s parents do not view Hilbert as a hero and think that their son was aggressively provoked on the bus, which resulted in the incident.
“It just escalated, ” James Smith, his father, told CBS 8. “It could have been prevented if there was simply proper security. And that is what I truly believe.”
An MTS spokeswoman stated: “The top priority for MTS is the safety of its passengers and employees. As this incident is the subject of pending criminal charges and civil litigation, MTS cannot comment.”
Edward Hilbert is not a defendant in this most recent legal action against the MTS.
Hilbert is anticipated in court for his previously arranged preliminary hearing on Thursday morning.