SF bakery stabbing suspect had history with owner and owner's father, court documents show

BySuzanne Phan KGO logo
Saturday, June 10, 2023
SF bakery stabbing suspect had history with owner: Court documents
Documents show the man accused of stabbing a bakery employee in SF Chinatown had a long history with the bakery, its owner and the owner's father.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- New details this afternoon about the man accused of stabbing a bakery employee in San Francisco's Chinatown. Documents obtained by ABC7 News now show that the alleged attacker had a long history with the bakery, its owner and the owner's father.

Court records show Fook Lai has a violent history.

Lai just finished serving a nine-year sentence for attempted murder in 2016.

On Friday, ABC7 News learned that Lai's violent encounters with the bakery owner and the owner's father date back as far as 2007 and the attacks may have been motivated by revenge, according to court documents

RELATED: Employee critically injured following stabbing at San Francisco Chinatown bakery, police say

Fook Lai went before a judge in San Francisco last week after police arrested him for stabbing an employee at AA Bakery in SF Chinatown on Monday, May 29.

Deputy Public Defender Diamond Wood asked for more time for the investigation and made this statement outside the courtroom: "Mr. Lai suffers and has a long history, an extensive health history with mental health issues."

Lai was previously sentenced to nine years in state prison for stabbing 89-year-old Dian Chen in May 2016. Dian, who was playing cards at Portsmouth Square, survived the attack. The stabbing victim was the father of AA Bakery owner Henry Chen.

On Friday, court documents indicated that prosecutors believed that the "defendant has a documented history of targeting the victim and his son's bakery since 2007."

RELATED: SF Chinatown bakery stabbing suspect released on parole 10 days before attack, records show

Documents also shed light on Lai's prior offenses. On April 15, 2007, police responded to a fight that broke out at AA bakery.

Owner Henry Chen and Dian Chen detained Lai. According to prosecutors, Lai entered the bakery to order a pastry and helped himself to some coffee. When an employee asked him to pay for the coffee, the Lai got angry, argued with the employee, picked up a chair and struck the employee with it. According to court documents, Lai then punched Dian Chen in the face.

In July 7, 2014 officers responded to a vandalism call at AA Bakery. According to documents, Lai "used a hammer to break the windows of The AA Bakery & Café, which was owned by Henry Chen."

When officers detained Lai, they "found him holding a hammer, a cleaver knife, and a box cutter knife in an open bag."

RELATED: SF bakery owner says suspect who stabbed his employee also stabbed his father in 2016

In court documents, prosecutors indicated that the prior incidents involving Lai: "demonstrate defendant's motive of revenge for his arrest as a result of the 2007 incident. Following his arrest in 2007, defendant chose to vandalize the bakery belonging to Mr. Chen's son in 2014, and to attack Mr. Chen with a knife without any provocation..."

Fook Lai served his full sentence in state prison in connection to the 2016 stabbing attack on the bakery owner's father.

Lai remains in jail awaiting a June 27 hearing for last month's attack on a bakery employee.

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