A man was chased, beaten, and stabbed by a group of four to six men as he walked through Golden Gate Park Monday evening, leaving him in critical condition. The Chronicle reports that the assailants fled the park after the attack and have not been apprehended and the incident, along with a recent murder in the area, seems potentially to point to a newly violent contingent among transient youth who congregate in the park, the Haight, and elsewhere.
The unnamed 35-year-old victim was walking near the park's Hippie Hill around 6:30 p.m., which, on the summer solstice, means there was still plenty of daylight out. According to the paper, he was drinking a beer as he walked, and for reasons unknown a group of men saw him and decided to chase after him. When they caught up with the man, the assailants reportedly beat, kicked, and stabbed the victim several times in the stomach.
Hippie Hill, of course, is the site of a massive 4/20 celebration in the park, and is more known for laid back stoners than violent attacks.
This attack comes shortly on the heels of the brutal torture and murder of a 66-year-old man in Golden Gate Park last month. In that case, prosecutors allege that a group of transient men — including two nicknamed "Pizza Steve" and "Evil" — beat and tortured Stephen Williams over a three day period before dumping his unconscious body in Alvord Lake on May 24. In that case, witnesses claim the attack might have been some form of demented "street justice," as Williams allegedly had been seen exposing himself near children in the park.
Witnesses among the Haight's usual population of street kids helped to apprehend the two suspects, as Hoodline reported, and the SFPD claimed that the group who tortured and killed Williams were not part of this usual cohort, and had no significant ties to the city.
The victim in yesterday's assault is currently in SF General, notes the Examiner. Both the identity and the motivation of the attackers remains unknown.