The man accused of stabbing two elderly Asian women at a bus stop in San Francisco has pleaded not guilty to his charges on Monday.
Patrick Thompson, 54, faces two counts each of attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and elder abuse, which carry a potential life sentence.
The stabbing: Thompson allegedly stabbed the women, aged 65 and 85, at a bus stop in the area of 4th and Stockton Streets on May 4. The incident was caught in a now-viral surveillance video. Both victims are expected to survive.
Not guilty plea: Thompson remained silent during Monday’s short court hearing as public defender Eric Fleischaker entered a not guilty plea on Thompson’s behalf.
- Fleischaker said that the attack “was not racially motivated and that his client has suffered mental health issues his entire adult life,” according to CBS San Francisco.
- District Attorney Chesa Boudin, who is handling the prosecution, confirmed that Thompson cannot be charged with a hate crime without further investigation for evidence.
- “If we see a pattern of similar behaviors, if we find social media postings, or other statements made by the defendant, that would be the kind of evidence we need to amend the complaint at a future date,” Boudin said, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
- Thompson was denied bail.
- If proven guilty, Thompson could face life in prison. A hate crime conviction would also add to the list of anti-Asian hate crimes recorded in the city, which reportedly increased by 164% in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the same period last year.
A hearing on Thompson’s detention is scheduled for Thursday.
The investigation is still active. Anyone with information on the incident is urged to call (415) 575-4444 or text TIP411 with the message “SFPD.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up for one of the victims, Chui Fong Eng, who remains at the hospital. As of this writing, the fundraiser has raised over $132,700.