KEY POINTS

  • The assailant stabbed the women and “casually walked away”
  • One victim is 85 years old, while another one is in the 60s
  • San Francisco Supervisor Matt Haney slammed the “disgusting” attack

Amid an increase in spate of anti-Asian hate crimes this year in the U.S., often linked to incendiary rhetoric blaming the community for the spread of COVID-19, another such attack has come to light. Two elderly Asian women were stabbed without warning in downtown San Francisco on Tuesday and a suspect in the case was arrested, authorities said.

According to USA Today, officers were notified of the incident and sent to 4th and Stockton streets before 5 p.m. They found the wounded women at the crime scene and took them to a hospital.

At around 7 p.m., officers from the Tenderloin Station located and arrested a 54-year-old San Francisco man in relation to the stabbing incident at the city’s Mid-Market area, KPIX-TV reported, citing San Francisco Police Public Information Officer Michael Andraychak.

bloody knife Representational image Photo: Pixabay

One victim was identified as 85-year-old Chui Fong Eng. She suffered serious stab wounds in the chest and arm. Another victim was in her 60s, police said. These two women were stabbed at a bus stop on Market Street. KPIX-TV cited witnesses as saying that a man with a knife approached the bus stop, stabbed the two women, and “very casually walked away in broad daylight.”

Police said that charges against the suspect were pending. It wasn’t clear whether the attacker was facing a hate crime charge.

Reacting to the incident, San Francisco Supervisor Matt Haney tweeted: "Disgusting and horrific attack on Market St this afternoon of two Asian seniors," he said on Twitter. "I've been closely in touch with the SFFD and SFPD. The suspect was just arrested. The victims are at the hospital. #StopTheAttacks #StopAsianHate."

District Attorney Chesa Boudin tweeted: “Heartbroken tonight for two elderly AAPI victims of a stabbing on Market. We’re awaiting more info & praying for the victims as they undergo medical treatment,” adding, “We will not tolerate brutal attacks like this.”

San Francisco Bay Area and several other parts of the U.S. have been witnessing an increase in unprovoked attacks against Asian Americans in recent months. Many hold the community responsible for the coronavirus pandemic, which originated in China. Several advocates for Asian Americans have blamed the anti-China rhetoric of former President Donald Trump, who often referred to the pandemic as the "China virus" or the "kung flu."

The UN in late 2020 came out with a report showcasing "an alarming level" of racially motivated violence and other hate incidents against Asian Americans.

In March, the advocacy group Stop AAPI Hate said it received reports of nearly 3,800 hate incidents in a year and claimed that was only a fraction of the actual number. The Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at Cal State San Bernardino says there has been a 164% increase in reports of anti-Asian hate crimes in the first quarter of 2021 versus last year across the country.