By Vanguard Staff
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin announced Thursday that he will personally prosecute Patrick Thompson, who has been charged in the stabbing of two elderly, AAPI women on Market Street earlier this week. He’s being arraigned Friday, May 7.
The charges against Thompson included two counts of premeditated attempted murder, two counts of assault with a deadly weapon and two counts of elder abuse with enhancements for great bodily injury, great bodily injury on elders, and personal use of a deadly weapon. These charges carry a potential life sentence
“San Francisco must be a safe place for all—where no one walks down the street in fear of an attack. Public safety demands urgent, new approaches to treating those with mental illness in order to protect everyone,” said DA Boudin.
DA Boudin said he visited both victims and their families at the hospital Thursday, and after one of the victims didn’t want to be identified, he decided to not release the name of either victim and asked the news media to “respect their privacy.”
“The strength and courage of these women is inspiring,” said Boudin. “Their pain was tangible and will serve as a constant reminder of the importance of our work to make San Francisco safer for all. I am grateful to the medical team at San Francisco General Hospital, who helped to make sure the victims are still with us today.”
The evidence submitted to the District Attorney’s Office by the police depicts a brutal attack, alleging Thompson “approached the elderly victims and stabbed each of them with a knife. The knife punctured one victim’s lungs, requiring extensive surgery. A knife had to be removed from another victim at the hospital,” prosecutors said.
“The police, bystanders, responding medics, surgeons, and attending staff at San Francisco General Hospital are to be commended for their life-saving responses. The case is also a reminder of the need to improve language access throughout the investigative and legal process,” said the DA.
“These facts support charges of attempted murder, elder abuse, and assault with a deadly weapon. We are still investigating whether there are other charges or allegations that can be brought in this case, and are working with the police department to determine if there is evidence to support hate crime allegations,” said Boudin.
In a statement, DA Boudin detailed the “tragedy.”
“What happened is a devastating tragedy, and we will use the full force of our office’s resources to prosecute this case. We also need to work hard to stop the next crime from happening, and that involves prevention and treatment. Mr. Thompson needed intensive supervision and services—which he received during Mental Health Diversion and which prevented new criminal behavior.
“We need far more intensive tools that keep people who are mentally ill treated and supported so that they do not reoffend even when there is no pending criminal case. We have always known that we need to strengthen mental health services in this city so that we can prevent crimes from happening in the first place.
“We also must implement stronger responses to addressing the mental health crisis in our streets in order to keep our community safe. For over 40 years, we have failed to invest resources into treatment, supportive housing, and other necessary services for those who are mentally ill and their families. We are all less safe as a result of that legacy.”
Boudin noted that change must come from legislation, stating “I call on all legislators and those who control city and state budgets to join me in addressing this problem with the urgency it demands.”
He cited “One example of legislators coming together to commit to public health responses to this crisis is Mental Health SF. The program, currently in pilot form, passed by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors via an ordinance in 2019 and relies on an interdisciplinary team of mental health professionals committed to 24/7 care of those who are living on the streets with mental illness.
“The program aims to provide access to mental health services, substance use treatment, and psychiatric medications to all adult San Francisco residents with mental illness and/or substance abuse who are homeless, uninsured, or enrolled in Medi-Cal or Healthy San Francisco. In addition to full implementation of Mental Health SF, we need new tools to prevent those on our streets living with mental illness from remaining untreated when they do not have court supervision.”
Thompson’s last arrest was in April of 2020, when a judge issued an arrest warrant for missing court and, when he was arrested on that warrant, he was in possession of a drug pipe.
According to the DA, Thompson was arrested in 2017 in separate cases. “A judge found him incompetent to stand trial and he was sent to Napa State Hospital. Upon his return, in 2018, his defense counsel requested he be sent to Mental Health Diversion, a program available pursuant to California state law. That program gives judges discretion to divert a case in favor of intensive, court-monitored treatment and services based on specific, enumerated criteria regarding a defendant’s mental health status and its relationship to the charges.”
“Mr. Thompson was released from custody in October 2018 to participate in Mental Health Diversion. After almost two years of complying with the program, Mr. Thompson’s defense counsel moved to terminate him from the program, which a judge granted. During that time, Mr. Thompson was not charged with any new offenses and was only arrested on warrants for missing court dates and once for possessing a drug pipe.”
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