Police in San Francisco have arrested a suspect they say stabbed two Asian women who were waiting for a bus on Tuesday night.
In a press release Wednesday, the San Francisco Police Department said that it had arrested 54-year-old Patrick Thompson after he allegedly stabbed an 84-year-old Asian woman and a 63-year-old Asian woman in a busy commercial area of the city on Tuesday.
The two women were rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment. According to the SFPD, the older woman initially faced life-threatening injuries, but her injuries have since been downgraded to “non-life-threatening.” Both remained hospitalized as of Wednesday.
The SFPD said that through the “course of the investigation, officers obtained an image of the suspect.” Thompson was arrested later on Tuesday on two charges of attempted murder and elder abuse. The department says it is still working to determine with the incident was motivated by racial bias.
City Supervisor Matt Haney on Tuesday described the attack as “disgusting and horrific.”
One of the women, 85 years old, is currently in surgery at SF General. Please think of her and her family. I will share updates as i receive them. Nothing more sickening than stabbing an 85 year old woman while she waits for the bus. Horrific. #StopAsianHate— Matt Haney (@MattHaneySF) May 5, 2021
Both of the victims are out of surgery and stable. Their families are with them at the hospital. I am reaching out to the families and victims to offer support.— Matt Haney (@MattHaneySF) May 5, 2021
The stabbing is part of a disturbing increase in violent attacks against Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) people in San Francisco and across the country.
Tuesday’s stabbing came just days after a 36-year-old Asian man said he was attacked in front of his toddler while walking downtown in San Francisco.
It also came days after a woman attacked two Asian women with a hammer in New York City — the latest in a string of violent attacks against AAPI people in the city.
Stop AAPI Hate, an advocacy group, reported nearly 4,000 instances of hate instances against Asian Americans in the U.S. between March 2020 and February 2021 — more than 10 a day.
The rise in hate instances mirrors the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, as Asian Americans unjustly face blame for the spread of the virus.
Former President Donald Trump is among those who have been criticized for the rise in hate instances against Asian people, as he often used racially charged terms to describe the virus.