Police in San Francisco arrested 54-year-old Patrick Thompson a few hours after two elderly women were savagely attacked at a bus stop. Cameras captured the stabbing, in which the attacker applied so much force the blade reportedly broke off inside one of the victims.
The 63- and 84-year-old women remained hospitalized as of Wednesday (May 5). The oldest victim was treated for life-threatening injuries, but her medical status is now listed as non-life threatening, police said.
Investigators are trying to determine if the seemingly random incident was a hate crime. Both women are Asian-American and the attack is the latest in a wave of violence targeting their community.
“Her back was turned and all I see is feathers came out of her jacket. So I am very sure that she got sliced,” the witness said of one victim. “He walked away like nothing happened, like Sunday morning.”
Since the start of the pandemic, violent crimes committed against the Asian-American community have seen a dramatic increase.
An article by Zaid Jilani, examined the possible causes and found that hatred spread through misinformation and online social platforms could be contributing factors.
“Some evidence suggests that the past year’s surge was driven by racist reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic.” Jilani wrote. “Former President Trump repeatedly referred to COVID-19 as the ‘China virus,’ which appears to have strengthened the association of Asians and disease in the minds of his followers, expressed through social-media hate speech.”
During President Joe Biden’s address to the nation marking the anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic, he highlighted the elevated racism and violence Asian Americans have experienced.
“It’s wrong, it’s un-American and it must stop.” The President said.
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