On Friday, SF District Attorney Chesa Boudin had asked a judge to hold a man who's connected with the high-profile stabbing Tuesday of two elderly Asian women near Fourth and Market streets. The suspect — Patrick Thompson — however, refused to come to court from jail.
Thompson — who SFPD officials say walked up to two elderly Asian women on Market Street and, without warning, stabbed them with a "long, Army-type knife" — is reported to have a history of mental illness. As reported by the Examiner, Boudin had argued the 54-year-old should remain behind bars while awaiting trial for allegedly stabbing the victims for that reason.
Yesterday we announced charges for the stabbing of two AAPI elderly victims.— Chesa Boudin 博徹思 (@chesaboudin) May 7, 2021
I am inspired by their strength & courage. We again ask the media to respect their privacy, pursuant to a request to me yesterday in the hospital.
Today I will seek his detention at the arraignment. pic.twitter.com/PuJgxEAuQr
But Thompson was a no-show for his arraignment Friday. And as a result, Thompson will now be held without bail due to his failure to appear in court, according to KRON4.
In light of recent events, the DA's office intends to use "the full force" of its resources to seek justice in the case.
“What happened is a devastating tragedy, and we will use the full force of our office’s resources to prosecute this case," Boudin's office said Friday, per the Examiner. "We also need to work hard to stop the next crime from happening, and that involves prevention and treatment."
But the DA's office, as well, wasn't shying away from the fact that San Francisco needs far better resources and treatment plans to contend with mental health, particularly as it relates to violent crimes.
"Mr. Thompson needed intensive supervision and services – which he received during Mental Health Diversion and which prevented new criminal behavior," the office added. "We need far more intensive tools that keep people who are mentally ill-treated and supported so that they do not reoffend even when there is no pending criminal case. We have always known that we need to strengthen mental health services in this city so that we can prevent crimes from happening in the first place."
In 2017, Thompson was arrested and convicted for stabbing a man with scissors at a homeless shelter in San Francisco; the courts at that time found him unfit to stand trial, and he was then sent to a Napa state hospital for treatment; Thompson, again, found himself in a mental health program in 2018 — but was released in 2020.
Should Thompson be convicted of the charges brought against him — which include two counts of attempted murder, along with elder abuse and assault with a deadly weapon in the attack — prosecutors believe the suspect could be given a life sentence.
Image: A protester holds a sign during a rally for justice for AAPI crime victims at the Thomas J. Cahill Hall of Justice on April 14, 2021 in San Francisco, California. Dozens of people rallied on the steps of the Thomas J. Cahill Hall of Justice to demand that people accused of crimes against the AAPI community be prosecuted. The rally coincided with a court appearance by Eric Ramos Hernandez who is charged with the attack of 84 year-old Asian American Rong Xin Liao. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)