Two women stabbed in San Francisco amid rise in anti-Asian attacks

·3 min read
<span>Photograph: John G Mabanglo/EPA</span>
Photograph: John G Mabanglo/EPA

Two women are in hospital after they were stabbed at a bus stop in San Francisco in the latest attacks against Asian Americans nationwide since the start of the pandemic.

The women, one 63 and the second 84, were waiting for the bus on San Francisco’s Market Street early Tuesday evening when a man stabbed them each multiple times.

A woman working at a flower stall nearby who witnessed the attack told the Associated Press that she saw the man walk away “like nothing happened” after the stabbing.

Stop AAPI Hate, a national coalition that has been collecting self-reported incidents of anti-Asian hate and violence, said in a report on Thursday that there were 6,603 incidents of reported anti-Asian between 19 March 2020 and 31 March 2021. Over a third of the incidents were reported in 2021, an uptick in reporting the coalition says is due to increased attention around hate-related incidents.

Related: ‘We’re not taught to speak out’: Asian Americans find their voice amid rise in hate

San Francisco police said the 63-year-old victim sustained non-life-threatening injuries while the 84-year-old woman was initially being treated for life-threatening injuries, but her medical status has since been downgraded to non-life-threatening. Both were still in hospital as of Wednesday afternoon.

In response to the attack, police arrested a 54-year-old man after they obtained an image of the suspect and recognized him from prior encounters. The man faces two charges of attempted murder and elder abuse.

The grandson of the 84-year-old woman told a local news station that his grandmother was “independent, very headstrong. If she has to do something she’s going to,” he said. The family was told that the knife “nicked” her lungs and ribcage.

The incident is the second the city has seen in the last week. A 36-year-old man, who identifies himself as Bruce, told a local news outlet that he was with his one-year-old son in the Mission Bay area when a random stranger knocked him to the ground and punched him multiple times last Friday, an incident that was caught on a security camera.

“I was on the floor and he was in a stroller that was rolling away, so it’s definitely scary as a parent,” he said.

While Bruce’s child was unharmed, and he did not suffer any serious injuries, he said his “sense of security has been shattered”. Police that were patrolling the area immediately arrested the 26-year-old suspect.

On the other side of the country in New York City, a 31-year-old woman was struck with a hammer in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of Manhattan on Sunday night after a woman confronted her and her 29-year-old friend and told them to take off their masks. The woman, Theresa, who only wanted to be identified by her first name, was later treated at a hospital for a head laceration.

Theresa told a local news outlet that she came to New York from Taiwan, where she was staying with her family after graduating from the Fashion Institute of Technology, last month to look for a job. Her parents were concerned about her move back to America in light of the rise in anti-Asian violence.

“My mom actually told me please be careful, there’s a lot of Asian crime happening in America,” she said.

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