It happened in the middle of downtown, at 4th and Market streets, just before 5 p.m.
EXCLUSIVE: Asian father brutally attacked while walking with 1-year-old child in SF
According to officials, two Asian women in their 60s and 80s were at a bus stop when they were attacked.
"I'm kind of worried because my back was turned, it could have been me instead," said Patricia Lee, who was working at the flower stand just a few yards from the bus platform, when she saw a man walk by with a knife in his hand.
Patricia Lee witnessed the suspect stab or as she described “slice” two women at the bus platform. The women are at the hospital being treated. pic.twitter.com/aMmth0i8dM— Kate Larsen (@KateABC7) May 5, 2021
"It was a pretty big knife, it had knuckles on the handle and the blade had holes in there like a military knife," Lee described.
Sources told ABC7 News that one of the women was badly bleeding, and the other still had a knife in her arm
Lee says she saw one of the women get attacked, "Her back was turned and all I see was the feathers coming out of her jacket, so I'm very sure that she got sliced."
After the stabbing, Lee says the suspect did not run, that "he walked away like nothing happened, like Sunday morning."
She now says she feels unsafe.
"I feel like we do need more officers patrolling," she said.
Suspect ARRESTED at 7pm on Eddy Street after two Asian women were stabbed waiting for the bus on Market Street today. SFPD says they have not found evidence of a hate crime but have not ruled it out. pic.twitter.com/LwZnKf7aBf— Kate Larsen (@KateABC7) May 5, 2021
Armed with witness photos of the suspect, officers canvassed Downtown San Francisco Tuesday evening and looked for part of the knife at a construction site near Union Square.
Two hours later at 7 p.m., less than a mile from the scene, SFPD arrested the suspect on Eddy Street - a 54-year-old San Francisco man.
"This is happening to Asian people in our community specifically, this is a pattern," said San Francisco Supervisor Matt Haney. The stabbing and arrest happened in his district.
Kate Larsen: "It was broad daylight on Market Street with a crowd of people, how did this happen?
Matt Haney: "It's hard to imagine anything more disgusting and awful, these folks were waiting for the bus they were targeted... This is an environment, broad daylight, people are around, where you should be safe.
Kate Larsen: "So what can the City do to keep people safe because this shouldn't happen any time of day?"
Matt Haney: "We have to hold people accountable who are committing crimes like this, we have to have police in areas where people need to be safe and have them more visible."
One of the women, 85 years old, is currently in surgery at SF General. Please think of her and her family. I will share updates as i receive them. Nothing more sickening than stabbing an 85 year old woman while she waits for the bus. Horrific. #StopAsianHate— Matt Haney (@MattHaneySF) May 5, 2021
Police tell ABC7 they do not have evidence of a hate crime, but are not yet ruling it out. Charges are still pending, but assault with a deadly weapon and elder abuse are possibilities.
San Francisco General Hospital confirms both women are being treated at their hospital.
At 11 p.m. Tuesday night, Haney said both women were out of surgery and in the ICU. He says they are in stable condition and with their families.
A GoFundMe page has been set up by the family of one of the victims. You can make a donation here.
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