Repeat offender who stabbed 94-year-old Asian woman in SF receives probation

Repeat offender who stabbed 94-year-old Asian woman in SF receives probation
via KPIX-TV, X/@TerryMcSweeney
Michelle De Pacina
March 18, 2024
A repeat offender who stabbed a 94-year-old Asian woman in San Francisco in June 2021 received probation instead of jail time, sparking controversy. 
Key points:
  • On Friday, Daniel Cauich was sentenced to five years of probation and supervision programs at the San Francisco Superior Court.
  • District Attorney Brooke Jenkins and Assistant DA Phoebe Maffei opposed the sentencing, arguing that Cauich poses a danger to the community and should serve a 12-year prison term for his crime.
Catch up:
  • On June 16, 2021, then-35-year-old Cauich hit Ahn “Peng” Taylor, a Chinese Vietnamese woman, in the head and stabbed her on the forearm, hip and torso as she was walking near her downtown apartment at around 10:15 a.m. on Post Street in San Francisco.
  • Cauich was arrested two hours later and charged with attempted murder, battery causing serious bodily injury and elder abuse. Before the incident, Cauich had already been convicted of three separate felony burglary charges in the past.
  • Taylor, who was brought to a local hospital for treatment, has reportedly recovered and is doing well at the age of 97.
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The details:
  • After pleading guilty to multiple charges, Cauich was ordered to enter a strict behavioral and mental health treatment program as part of his probation, with the possibility of state prison if probation rules are violated. He will participate in the Intensive Supervision Court program, designed for high-risk probationers. The program will determine the specific courses Cauich will undertake at a later date.
  • “I am giving you one last chance to stay out of state prison,” Judge Kay Tsenin said during the hearing, which combined another one of Cauich’s burglary charges in a separate incident. He has waived the roughly 1,000 days he has spent in custody since his arrest.
  • Lisa DewBerry, Cauich’s defense attorney, defended him following the sentencing, citing underlying mental health issues and trauma as contributing factors to the attack. She recounted that Cauich was remorseful upon realizing his actions, expressing disbelief at what he had done. DewBerry noted that despite the gravity of the incident, Cauich harbors no animosity towards the victim. 
  • Court records revealed a neuropsychology report detailing Cauich’s history of trauma, brain injuries, mental health issues and substance-use disorder. DewBerry also mentioned that Cauich had been homeless and had been run over by a car.
Voicing opposition:
  • However, Jenkins was not happy with the sentencing, saying that the victim was “denied justice.” Jenkins, who had sought prison for Cauich following the June 2021 attack, took to X to express her frustration: “Not only was this victim denied justice, but all San Franciscans were left less safe today due to this reckless decision. Our seniors shouldn’t need escorts to leave their homes or walk down the street. But decisions like this are why they continue to feel vulnerable.”
  • Assistant DA Maffei also characterized the stabbing as “senseless and horrifying” in a document contesting the sentence. “[The stabbing] suggests a quick willingness to do harm to vulnerable people within our community,” she said.
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