2 Asian women stabbed while waiting for bus in downtown SF

According to officials, two Asian women in their 60s and 80s were at a bus stop when they were attacked. A witness says after the stabbing, the suspect did not run, that "he walked away like nothing happened, like Sunday morning."

Video Transcript

- Horrific, disgusting you know, another attack on Asian elders in our community.

AMA DAETZ: An attack in broad daylight on a busy San Francisco Street. Two women were stabbed at a bus stop. Good evening, and thank you for joining us. I'm Ama Daetz.

DAN ASHLEY: And I'm Dan Ashley. It happened just before 5:00 this evening on Market Street. ABC7 News Reporter Kate Larsen is in the newsroom, and Kate, you spoke with witnesses about what happened and city leaders about what needs to be done.

KATE LARSEN: Absolutely, Dan, Ama. The women who were in their 80's and 60's are at San Francisco General Hospital receiving treatment right now. A city official tells me that one woman was stabbed in the arm and torso. The other woman in the elbow. Everyone I've spoken today is absolutely horrified that this happened.

PATRICIA LEE: I kind of worried because my back was turned. It could have been me instead.

KATE LARSEN: Patricia Lee was working at the flower stand on Market and Stockton Streets when she saw a man walk by her with a knife in his hand.

PATRICIA LEE: It was a pretty big knife. It got knuckles on the handle and he got like a plate. The plate gots holes in there. Like a military knife.

KATE LARSEN: Lee says the man walked to the Muni platform and stabbed two older Asian women.

PATRICIA LEE: Her back was turned, and all I see is the feathers came out of her jacket. So I'm very sure that she got sliced.

KATE LARSEN: As for the suspect--

PATRICIA LEE: He walked away like nothing happened. Like Sunday morning.

KATE LARSEN: How does that make you feel?

PATRICIA LEE: Unsafe and feel like we do need more officers patrolling.

KATE LARSEN: Armed with witness photos of the suspect, officers canvassed downtown San Francisco and looked for part of the knife at a construction site near Union Square.

Two hours later, less than a mile from the scene, SFPD arrested the suspect on Eddy Street. A 54-year-old San Francisco man.

MATT HANEY: This is something that is happening to Asian people in our community, specifically. This is a pattern.

KATE LARSEN: The stabbing and arrest happened in San Francisco supervisor Matt Haney's district. It was broad daylight on Market Street with a crowd of people. How did this happen?

MATT HANEY: Yeah, I mean, it's hard to imagine anything more disgusting and awful. These folks were waiting for the bus. They were targeted. This is an environment where you're-- broad daylight. People are around where you should be safe.

KATE LARSEN: So what can this city do to keep people safe? Because this shouldn't happen, any time of day.

MATT HANEY: It shouldn't happen any time of day. We have to hold people accountable who are committing crimes like this. We have to have police in areas where people need to be safe. And have them more visible.

KATE LARSEN: Police tell me they do not have evidence of a hate crime, but are not yet ruling it out. Charges are still pending, but I'm told assault with a deadly weapon and elder abuse are possibilities.

I did just hear moments ago that both women are out of surgery and in the ICU right now. They are stable and their families are with them, and of course, we hope them a speedy recovery. In the newsroom, I'm Kate Larsen, ABC7 News.

AMA DAETZ: Yeah, we certainly do. All right, Kate. Thank you.