Two elderly Asian women were brutally stabbed on Tuesday while waiting for a bus in downtown San Francisco, authorities said. Shocking video of the incident emerged on Thursday, which shows a man attacking the two women at a bus stand, with the blade of the knife breaking inside the body of one of the victims.
San Francisco police on Tuesday arrested Patrick Thomson, 54, who almost fatally stabbed Chui Fong, 85, and another 65-year-old woman who was accompanying her. The attack comes amid growing incidents of anti-Asian violence in the United States since the start of the pandemic. The video of the horrifying incident has since gone viral.
The chilling footage, obtained by KGO-TV, shows the attacker creeping up behind one of the women at a bus stop in the California city, around 7 pm on Tuesday. Fong and the other women had gone out to buy grocery and were waiting for a bus.
The video shows, Thompson pouncing from behind and stabbing Fong in the back. As Fong yells in pain before collapsing, he calmly approaches the second victim and stabs her in the back, too. And all this happens in broad daylight. In fact, the knife was so sharp and the stabbing so powerful that the blade of the knife broke off inside the body of one of the women.
A bystander rushes over to help and cradles the woman, who had fallen backward onto the ground, according to the shocking clip. According to witnesses, Thompson calmly walked away after the random attack, while the two women lay bleeding. "The assailant walked up to their victim stabbed them and very casually walked away in broad daylight," witness Jenny Shao told KPIX.
"And before you know he was behind this lady with a black jacket and you saw all the feathers go flying, so he sliced her, she screamed," the witness said. Thompson was later arrested and has been charged with attempted on Wednesday.
Both the women remain in the hospital and are receiving treatment for multiple stab wounds, the San Francisco Police Department said in a news release on Wednesday. Neither woman is in critical condition. An investigation has been launched and police have not yet ruled the attack a hate crime, but say they are looking into whether the suspect was motivated by racial bias.
"She's independent, very headstrong. If she has to do something she's going to. That's just her," Fong's grandson, Drew told abc7news. "I was told the knife nicked her lung and ribcage. It was a really long knife," said Drew. The broken blade of the knife was later removed by surgery.
An X-ray photo shared by the outlet showed the long serrated knife stuck near her rib cage.
That said, police have revealed that the attack wasn't random and the two women knew Thompson. "They were familiar with this individual," said SFPD Chief William Scott about the Tenderloin officers who made the arrest.
Fong's family has also set up a GoFundMe to help pay for her medical expenses. The attack follows a recent surge in hate crimes against Asian Americans in the United States, especially in the Bay Area, during the coronavirus pandemic. From March 2020 through past February, Stop AAPI Hate — a nonprofit that tracks abuse against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders — documented close to 3,780 hate incidents. The total number of anti-Asian crimes might be much higher.