Manhunt underway for Extraordinary Desserts murder suspect
by Adam Elder
Published - 01/05/07 - 03:12 PM | 8406 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
As of press time, San Diego police are undertaking a wide-scale manhunt for an incident that left one man dead and another seriously wounded Dec. 29 at Extraordinary Desserts, 2929 5th Ave. in Park West.

Forty five-year-old Ralph Stephen Garbarini is the suspect in question. He shot and killed Michael Andrew Fineman, 44, of San Diego, father of three and owner of Michael Fineman Designs, at approximately 9:26 p.m. According to reports, two couples were sitting in the dining area when a male, believed to be Garbarini, stood near their table for no apparent reason. When he began to stare at the group, the couples asked for assistance. An employee then escorted the suspect out of the restaurant.

The suspect then re-entered the restaurant five minutes later, walked straight toward the two couples and shot both the males at point-blank range. The shooter then walked out of the restaurant south on 5th Avenue. Fineman died inside the restaurant, while the second victim, whose name police declined to release, remained hospitalized as of Jan. 3.

A witness who had seen news footage of the crime soon spotted Garbarini and passed along his license plate to the police. He is described as 5 feet, 8 inches tall, 170 pounds, with thinning brown hair and blue eyes. In portions of the surveillance video released to the media, the suspect was seen with a dark-colored backpack, dressed in earth tones and tennis shoes, unshaven, with discolored teeth.

Garbarini's vehicle is a brownish gray 1990 Toyota pickup with a plywood camper, described as having a rock formation-looking paint job.

Police are asking for help from the public in bringing the suspect to justice. SDPD believe Garbarini has fled to northern California, Arizona or Mexico "“ all places in which he previously resided. Prior to arriving in San Diego one month ago and living out of his camper, he was a construction worker from Jackson, Calif. with a minor criminal record. Police stress that Garbarini is believed to be armed and dangerous.

A spokesman for Extraordinary Desserts said there would be no comment from the restaurant, which has another location at 1430 Union St. in Little Italy.
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