SAN FRANCISCO — On May 4 at approximately 4:51 p.m., San Francisco police officers from Tenderloin Station responded to the area of 4th and Stockton streets for a report of a double stabbing.
Officers arrived on scene and located two Asian female victims, ages 84 and 63, suffering from multiple stab wounds. Officers rendered aid to the victims and summoned medics to the scene. Both victims were transported to a local hospital.
The 63-year-old victim sustained non-life-threatening injuries. The 84-year-old victim was initially being treated for life-threatening injuries. Her medical status has since been upgraded to non-life-threatening. Both victims remain in the hospital.
Through the course of the investigation, officers obtained an image of the suspect. Tenderloin officers recognized the suspect from prior police contacts. He was identified as 54-year-old Patrick Thompson of San Francisco.
At approximately 7 p.m., officers located Thompson on the 600 block of Eddy Street, where he was taken into custody without incident. Thompson was later booked at San Francisco County Jail on two charges of attempted murder and elder abuse.
The investigation is being led by the Tenderloin Station Investigations Team with assistance from the SFPD Night Investigations Unit. Investigators are working to determine if the incident was motivated by racial bias. A hate crime is defined as a criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity.
While an arrest has been made, this remains an open, early, and active investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call the SFPD Tip Line at (415) 575-4444 or text a tip to TIP411 and begin the text message with SFPD.
San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin announced the following charges against Thompson: two counts of premeditated attempted murder (Penal Code Section 664/187)); two counts of assault with a deadly weapon (Penal Code Section 245(a)(1)); and two counts of elder abuse (Penal Code Section 368(b)(1)), with enhancements for great bodily injury, great bodily injury on elders, and personal use of a deadly weapon. These charges carry a potential life sentence.
An arraignment was scheduled for Friday at 1:30 p.m., with Boudin personally representing the prosecution at the arraignment.
On Thursday, Boudin visited both victims and their families at the hospital. One of the victims requested that neither her name nor her face be made public.
“The strength and courage of these women is inspiring,” said Boudin. “Their pain was tangible and will serve as a constant reminder of the importance of our work to make San Francisco safer for all. I am grateful to the medical team at San Francisco General Hospital, who helped to make sure the victims are still with us today.”
Boudin said that the evidence submitted by the police depicts a brutal attack. “We allege that Mr. Thompson approached the elderly victims and stabbed each of them with a knife. The knife punctured one victim’s lungs, requiring extensive surgery. A knife had to be removed from another victim at the hospital. The police, bystanders, responding medics, surgeons, and attending staff at San Francisco General Hospital are to be commended for their life-saving responses. The case is also a reminder of the need to improve language access throughout the investigative and legal process.
“These facts support charges of attempted murder, elder abuse, and assault with a deadly weapon. We are still investigating whether there are other charges or allegations that can be brought in this case, and are working with the police department to determine if there is evidence to support hate crime allegations. If anybody has any information in this regard, please contact the police or the District Attorney’s Office.
“There have been some questions about Mr. Thompson’s background. Mr. Thompson’s last arrest was in April of 2020, when a judge issued an arrest warrant for missing court and, when he was arrested on that warrant, he was in possession of a drug pipe.
“Before that, police arrested Mr. Thompson in 2017 in separate cases, and because of some confusion, we want to clarify what happened in those prior cases filed against Mr. Thompson. During those proceedings, a judge found him incompetent to stand trial and he was sent to Napa State Hospital. Upon his return, in 2018, his defense counsel requested he be sent to Mental Health Diversion, a program available pursuant to California state law.
“That program gives judges discretion to divert a case in favor of intensive, court-monitored treatment and services based on specific, enumerated criteria regarding a defendant’s mental health status and its relationship to the charges. Mr. Thompson was released from custody in October 2018 to participate in Mental Health Diversion. After almost two years of complying with the program, Mr. Thompson’s defense counsel moved to terminate him from the program, which a judge granted.
“During that time, Mr. Thompson was not charged with any new offenses and was only arrested on warrants for missing court dates and once for possessing a drug pipe.
“What happened is a devastating tragedy, and we will use the full force of our office’s resources to prosecute this case. We also need to work hard to stop the next crime from happening, and that involves prevention and treatment. Mr. Thompson needed intensive supervision and services — which he received during Mental Health Diversion and which prevented new criminal behavior. 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. We also must implement stronger responses to addressing the mental health crisis in our streets in order to keep our community safe. For over 40 years, we have failed to invest resources into treatment, supportive housing, and other necessary services for those who are mentally ill and their families. We are all less safe as a result of that legacy.
“I call on all legislators and those who control city and state budgets to join me in addressing this problem with the urgency it demands. One example of legislators coming together to commit to public health responses to this crisis is Mental Health SF. The program, currently in pilot form, passed by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors via an ordinance in 2019 and relies on an interdisciplinary team of mental health professionals committed to 24/7 care of those who are living on the streets with mental illness.
“The program aims to provide access to mental health services, substance use treatment, and psychiatric medications to all adult San Francisco residents with mental illness and/or substance abuse who are homeless, uninsured, or enrolled in Medi-Cal or Healthy San Francisco.
“In addition to full implementation of Mental Health SF, we need new tools to prevent those on our streets living with mental illness from remaining untreated when they do not have court supervision.
“San Francisco must be a safe place for all – where no one walks down the street in fear of an attack. Public safety demands urgent, new approaches to treating those with mental illness in order to protect everyone.”
ABC 7’s Dion Lim, who has done extensive coverage of anti-Asian hate crimes in the Bay Area, has been posting updates:
May 4: “This Asian man in his 50s was just punched several times in the head near Original Joe’s in North Beach. Someone I know was walking by when it happened around 8:30. First two seniors stabbed along Market and (now) this? What the heck is going on?”
May 5: “The grandson of one of the victims who was stabbed in the arm and into her chest gave me permission to share this (photo). It’ll be the only photo they share for now as they are requesting privacy during this time. The other woman, I have learned, was stabbed in the back and has two broken bones.
“Here is the only real GoFundMe for one of the senior women stabbed along Market yesterday. (http://bit.ly/3enyEBv) It was set up by the Eng family. Grandson Andrew told me he doesn’t like asking for a handout but that his grandma really needs the support. I told him the community wants to help.”
May 6: “Trigger Warning — After much discussion and debate, I am choosing to show you video I received from sources of the two Asian senior women were stabbed along Market Street this week. Here is why:
“There always has to be a purpose to what is shown. I do not believe in showing things for shock value or for clicks. But instead to show context. In this case my team and I felt like it was important to see what happened so you understand how serious this crime is — as you learn the previous crimes of the suspect.
“You can see how calmly the suspect approaches the women. The suspect appears to choose the women out of several others.
“It shows how a bystander rushed to help. More came shortly after. I spoke to one yesterday who cradled Mrs. Fong while emergency crews arrived.
“The alleged perpetrator has a criminal history including assault with a deadly weapon in 2017. He was let out on mental health diversion last fall. He was supposed to be behind bars for his previous charges for 25 years to life.
“I have only watched this three times because it makes me upset and overwhelmed. The family knows why we made the decision to share this. I will channel this shock and anger into continuing the fight.”
Lim also posted this on Wednesday: “A baseball bat. This is what running errands and shopping looks like for some in San Francisco. An Asian woman sent me this photo. Hand sanitizer, mask, non-flashy handbag … and a bat. Citizens should not have to do this in order to feel safe in this city.”
The Go Fund Me page for Chui Fong, which has raised more than $100,000, included the following message from Victoria Eng: “My brother, Andrew, and I are setting up this fundraiser on behalf of our 85-year-old grandma. On Tuesday, May 4, 2021, she was stabbed on Market Street and 4th in San Francisco as she was heading home. While she was waiting at the bus stop, she was stabbed with a long knife in her right arm and entered into her chest. She was transferred to S.F. General, where she had a successful surgery.
“These Asian hate crimes need to stop. Our hearts go out to all those who have been injured, killed, or affected by this wave of racist crimes toward the Asian community. San Francisco is my home and my grandma’s home. We need to feel safe where we live and not in constant fear. Please keep her and our family in your thoughts and prayers. Any donation would be appreciated! Thank you.”