2007 stabbing victim speaks to ABC7

April 13, 2010 6:49:41 PM PDT
A young woman who almost died in a bizarre stabbing at a San Francisco bakery in 2007, is speaking out about the ordeal.

The victims sued the corrections department, saying they don't want those mistakes to happen again.

"As I was backing away, he kept slashing at me although I had my arm in front of my face," stabbing victim Loren Schaller said.

Schaller almost died from her injuries. She was 15 when she was attacked at Creighton's Bakery near the Twin Peaks neighborhood in San Francisco.

Schaller was stabbed in her side, back and head. But her most serious wound was when Scott Thomas plunged the knife in her neck, severing her jugular vein.

A doctor happened to be in the bakery. He saved her life by stemming the bleeding until paramedics arrived.

"They were trying to put like a Band Aid around my neck and Doctor Chang told them no, no, no, you have to actually put your hand in and close the jugular," Schaller said.

"I just want to see some justice done for the young lady," Kermit Kubitz said.

Kubitz was the Good Samaritan who was also stabbed when he went to Schaller's aid.

Thomas was arrested at the scene and later convicted on two counts of attempted murder.

Schaller and Kubitz sued the California Department of Corrections, saying the agency was liable for the attack because of errors made when releasing Thomas from San Quentin the day before.

Thomas, a career criminal and considered "a high control inmate," was supposed to be let go in Southern California. Instead, he was given $300 and dropped off at the San Rafael bus depot. He used part of the money to buy the knife.

Also, Thomas was not supposed to be released on a Friday, because high control inmates are required to check-in with their parole officer within 24 hours -- an impossibility on weekends.

A subsequent investigation by the state inspector general found a series of mistakes, oversights and failures by the Department of Corrections.

But a judge last year ruled that state law gave the agency immunity from the consequences of Thomas' parole.

Schaller and Kubitz are now appealing.

"I think they haven't taken responsibility for their actions," Kubitz said. "It was an accident waiting to happen.

Schaller is now 18 and looking forward to college after three years of painful surgeries and therapy.

"I still have a lot of trouble lifting sheer weight. I have a lot of trouble moving smoothly," she said.

The state attorney general, who represents corrections, failed to return ABC7's calls.

Thomas was convicted of attempted murder, but the jury couldn't decide if he was legally sane. According to prosecutors, they will try again with a new jury.


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