Well, this is just sad: 47-year-old Richard Sprague, the man who was left dying on Julian Avenue on February 19 and lay there moaning for five hours before anyone took notice, actually walked with a cane following an accident two years ago in which he was hit by a truck while trying to cross a San Francisco street. As his sister tells the Examiner, "San Francisco hasn't been kind to him."
Sprague had been a jeweler at Neiman-Marcus but had to quit his job following the accident.
Furthermore, his partner of 20 years, 59-year-old David Nielson, says that the stabbing "wouldn’t have happened in my neighborhood," meaning Oakwood Street near Dolores Park where he and Sprague lived, a few blocks away from 15th and Julian where the attack occurred. Nielson says that it was the chaos of the Mission that is to blame, and police don't do enough about it.
One other factor may have led to the tragedy: The couple had been out at a friend's birthday that Saturday night, which partly explains why Nielson did not wonder about his partner's whereabouts until the next morning. He fell asleep after Sprague left the house in search of a pack of cigarettes he had reportedly been trying quit and did not begin calling police or hospitals until the next day.
It should be noted that the most recent reports on Sprague's attack have shied away from naming a stab wound as the cause of death, and an autopsy is still pending.
So far, no murder charges have been filed, though police do have a man in custody, 42-year-old Roland Pouncy, who was in possession of Sprague's ATM card and was charged with receiving stolen property.