A pair of elderly Asian women were stabbed and seriously injured while waiting for a bus at 4th and Market streets on Tuesday, and a suspect was arrested a few blocks away.
The incident happened just before 5 p.m., as KTVU reports, and it happened in broad daylight in front of multiple witnesses. The women, one of whom was 85 years old and the other was in her 60s, were reportedly standing on a traffic island bus stop on Market Street near Stockton and the busy Westfield Shopping Centre when a man approached them with a knife and stabbed them both.
"It was a pretty big knife, it had knuckles on the handle and the blade had holes in there like a military knife," says eyewitness Patricia Lee, speaking to ABC 7. Lee described seeing the suspect attack one of the women from behind, sending feathers flying from inside her jacket.
Lee added that the suspect didn't run away after stabbing the women, "he walked away like nothing happened, like Sunday morning."
A 54-year-old suspect was subsequently arrested on the 600 block of Eddy Street. His name has not yet been released.
Supervisor Matt Haney, who represents the neighborhood, told the Chronicle that both women underwent surgery at SF General and were expected to recover. The 85-year-old woman had been stabbed in the arm and chest.
It's not clear if this was definitively another hate crime against the AAPI community, but Haney said in a statement to the Chronicle, "There is clearly a pattern of targeting Asian residents, and seniors in particular. It was a brazen attack in broad daylight with tons of people around, and it's absolutely sickening."
Disgusting and horrific attack on Market St this afternoon of two Asian seniors. I've been closely in touch with the SFFD and SFPD. The suspect was just arrested. The victims are at the hospital. #StopTheAttacks #StopAsianHate— Matt Haney (@MattHaneySF) May 5, 2021
Haney added, "The person responsible needs to be held accountable, and the city needs to do more to prevent this from happening."
District Attorney Chesa Boudin tweeted about the incident Tuesday evening saying, "Heartbroken tonight for two elderly AAPI victims. We're awaiting more info & praying for the victims as they undergo medical treatment... We will not tolerate brutal attacks like this."
As the Chronicle notes, the Stop AAPI Hate project has tallied 708 attacks on Asian Americans in the Bay Area since the start of the pandemic, 292 of which have occurred in San Francisco.
Just on Friday, a 36-year-old Asian father who was pushing a toddler in a stroller in Mission Bay was attacked from behind, punched, and knocked to the ground, and police immediately arrested a suspect.
The SFPD is still seeking information about the Market Street attack, or other witnesses. Anyone with information is asked to call 415-575-4444 or text a tip to TIP411 and begin the text message with SFPD.
Photo: Citizen App