SAN FRANCISCO (BCN/CBS SF) — A man accused of stabbing two elderly Asian women in downtown San Francisco on Tuesday was charged with two counts of attempted murder along with elder abuse and assault with a deadly weapon, San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin said Friday.
Officers arrested 54-year-old Patrick Thompson on Tuesday after he allegedly stabbed two women, aged 63 and 85, near the corner of Market and Fourth streets, police said.READ MORE: Gov. Newsom Launches TV Campaign Targeting Recall Efforts; Touts Cash Payments From Budget Surplus
During the attack, the 85-year-old victim’s lung was punctured, requiring extensive surgery. The knife used to attack the second victim had to be removed by medics at the hospital, prosecutors said.
Thompson was set to be arraigned on Friday afternoon, but refused to come to court from jail, Thompson’s attorney Deputy Public Defender Eric Fleischaker said in court. The arraignment has been continued to Monday.
In addition to the attempted murder, assault and elder abuse charges, Thompson is also facing enhancements for great bodily injury, great bodily injury on elders and personal use of a deadly weapon. If convicted, he could potentially be sentenced to life in prison, prosecutors said.
Boudin, who is prosecuting the case himself, said on Thursday he visited both victims and their families at the hospital.
“The strength and courage of these women is inspiring,” Boudin said in a statement released Thursday. “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.”
Although Thompson has been charged, the investigation is ongoing and Boudin’s office is looking into whether there’s evidence to support hate crime charges in the case.
KPIX 5 learned from a police source on Wednesday that Thompson has a long and troubled criminal history, with more than two dozen arrests in the last 20 years. He was placed under a psychiatric hold at least once and, in 2019, was arrested for battery.
KPIX 5 also learned that in 2017, Thompson was arrested for stabbing a person at this homeless shelter on 5th and Bryant Streets with a pair of scissors. Police say it was another unprovoked attack.READ MORE: Man Arrested After Allegedly Trying To Shoot Sonoma County Deputy, Park Ranger
The DA’s office said Thompson’s last arrest was in April of 2020, when a judge issued an arrest warrant for missing court. When he was arrested on that warrant, he was in possession of a drug pipe.
The San Francisco Police Officers Association, which has been critical of Boudin in the past, on Friday issued a press release alleging that Thompson’s 2017 arrest was in connection with an unprovoked stabbing, similar to the most recent case.
“This is Chesa Boudin’s San Francisco, where repeat offenders get second, third, and fourth chances while victims are left bleeding in our streets,” the SFPOA said. “Boudin’s latest blunder is shameful, and his catch and release policies for violent criminals are leading to more and more victims. We have had enough.”
President of the San Francisco Police Officers Association Tony Montoya leveled additional criticism at Boudin, calling his participation in the case a stunt.
“To date, this is Chesa’s most disrespectful political stunt. The victims in this case and their families deserve the most experienced violent crime prosecutor in court today and not a criminal defense attorney with zero experience prosecuting any crime,” Montoya said in the release.
Boudin’s office acknowledged new methods are needed to help treat people with mental health and substance use issues and called on legislators to push for more resources.
“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,” Boudin’s office said.
“We ask that the public reserve judgement of Mr. Thompson as we continue to gather more information. This is not a hate crime. Even in our early evaluation of this incident, nothing indicates that this was racially motivated,” Fleischaker said of his client.MORE NEWS: California Reopens: State Offers Digital Record of COVID-19 Vaccination
“Mr. Thompson has suffered from mental health issues his entire adult life and is someone who thrives when given proper care — as he did for the nearly two years that he was part of the rigorous, court-mandated Mental Health Diversion program, where he was able to live independently without incident and participate in his own healing. Sadly, many life-saving social services have not been available during the COVID crisis and the lack of consistent care led to this situation, which is tragic for all involved. We extend our greatest sympathies to the victims in this case and wish them a full and speedy recovery,” Fleischaker said.