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Civil Trial in Death of Saddleback College Student Begins Today

Shayan Mazroei Stabbed Outside Popular Orange County Pub by Notorious White Supremacist

IRVINE, CA, UNITED STATES, October 17, 2017 / -- Jury selection begins October 17 in the wrongful death trial of notorious white supremacist and Public Enemy No. 1 (PEN1) gang member Craig Matthew Tanber in the stabbing death of Shayan Mazroei.

The 22-year-old Saddleback College student, the only child of Iranian-Americans Shahzad and Hamid Mazroei, was slain on September 7, 2015, at Patsy’s Restaurant and Irish Pub in Laguna Niguel, California.

Tanber, of Los Alamitos, was sentenced to 13 years in prison for his role in the 2004 murder of a security guard at Patsy’s, and had been out on parole only a few months when he arrived at Patsy’s that September evening, says the Mazroei family’s attorney Neama Rahmani of West Coast Trial Lawyers.

“Mazroei would not have been assaulted and killed if the pub had properly and adequately provided for its patrons’ security,” Rahmani said.

Defendants include Tanber, Elizabeth Thornburg – Tanber’s companion, who helped him flee the scene – the pub, pub security guard Mark Fillingham, and related individuals and entities. The trial is in Orange County Superior Court, Civil Justice Center, Room C32, 700 Civic Center Dr. West, Santa Ana, CA 92701.

Although Tanber and another member of the white racist street gang were charged with murder in the 2004 case, a juror’s improper Google search about the case led to a mistrial, and Tanber was allowed to plead guilty to involuntary manslaughter. If he had instead been convicted of special circumstances murder (because of his PEN1 affiliation), Tanber would likely be serving life without parole.

“Instead of ensuring its patrons were protected from Tanber’s racial hatred, Patsy’s owners and management neglected to remove him from the premises after he made threats of physical harm, failed to alert law enforcement, and left Mazroei, the subject of his animus, vulnerable to Tanber’s attack,” said Rahmani. “Their lack of concern amounts to incompetence and gross disregard of the responsibility to provide adequate security for customers.”

Mazroei was a frequent patron of Patsy’s Irish Pub, where he developed close friendships with other patrons who also enjoyed playing pool and darts.

According to the complaint, Thornburg approached Mazroei without provocation, made disparaging, racist statements about Iranian-Americans and Mazroei, threatened him, spat on him and called him a “terrorist.”

Mazroei alerted Fillingham, who removed Tanber and Thornburg to an outside patio, but that did not stop the threats. Tanber continued to berate and even threatened to kill Mazroei while Fillingham was present. Instead of removing the couple from the premises or alerting law enforcement, Fillingham left them unattended to assist other patrons to call a taxi, something Rahmani says, should not have been delegated to the only security guard on the premises. Shortly thereafter, Tanber assaulted and killed Mazroei.

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About West Coast Trial Lawyers
West Coast Trial Lawyers represents plaintiffs in personal injury and civil rights litigation, including wrongful death, brain injury and vehicular accidents resulting in serious and debilitating injuries. After working for the largest law firm in Los Angeles, co-founders Neama Rahmani and Allen Patatanyan now leverage their backgrounds and legal knowledge to stand up to the large and powerful corporations they once defended. The firm is passionate about its cases and committed to pursuing justice on behalf of injury victims and their families.

Brenda McGann
Newsroom Public Relations
(310) 245-3238
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