Patrick Thompson, 54, of San Francisco has also been charged with assault with a deadly weapon and elder abuse for the attack, with sentencing improvements for serious bodily harm, serious bodily harm to seniors and the personal use of a deadly weapon, the district attorney’s office said. in a report. A witness told KGO-TV that a man carried a large knife with knuckles on the handle and, without warning, attacked the women as they waited for a bus on Market Street.
“The knife punctured the lungs of a victim, which required major surgery,” the prosecutor’s office said. “A knife had to be taken from another victim in the hospital. “
Authorities initially said the women were 65 and 84 and did not immediately identify them. But a family member said the oldest victim was 85-year-old Chui Fong Eng.
Victoria Eng said her grandmother was stabbed in the right arm and the blade entered her chest. She underwent successful surgery.
“We were able to visit Grandma today! It was so emotional to come in and see her, ”Eng said Thursday on a GoFundMe page which had raised more than US $ 98,000 to cover medical bills. “The staff provided him with exceptional care and extremely supportive of our family. She would like to thank everyone for their generosity and good wishes! “
Part of the money raised was offered to the family of the other victim, “but they politely refused,” the message said.
Both women were expected to survive, authorities said.
Authorities did not say whether women were targeted because of their ethnicity. But the district attorney’s office said prosecutors were working with police to determine if there was any evidence to support the hate crime allegations.
On Thursday, the FBI office in San Francisco launched an advertising campaign to encourage victims of hate crimes to come forward. The effort comes amid a wave of attacks on Asian Americans – many of whom are seniors – in San Francisco and across the country.
Police Chief William Scott initially said the attack appeared to be “completely random.”
Thompson, who has a history of mental illness, could face a life sentence if convicted. He was due to be brought to justice on Friday on the charges. A message left at the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office requesting comment on the case was not immediately returned after hours on Thursday.
He was arrested in 2017 and sent to a state mental hospital after being declared incompetent to stand trial, the state attorney’s office said.
In 2018, Thompson was sent to a state mental health “diversion” program that provides “intensive, court-supervised treatment and services,” the district attorney’s office said.
A judge allowed him to be released from the program after nearly two years. He has not been charged with any new offenses. But he was arrested on an arrest warrant for missing court dates, including in April 2020, when he was also found in possession of a drug pipe, prosecutors said.
“What happened is a devastating tragedy, and we will use the full strength of our office’s resources to pursue this matter. We also have to work hard to prevent the next crime from happening, and that involves prevention and treatment, ”the prosecutor’s office said. statement said. “Mr. Thompson needed intensive supervision and services – which he received during the mental health diversion and which prevented further criminal behavior. “
“We also need to implement stronger responses to deal with the mental health crisis on our streets in order to keep our community safe,” the statement said. “For over 40 years, we have not invested resources in treatment, supportive housing and other necessary services for the mentally ill and their families. We are all less secure because of this heritage.