An Asian grandmother is recuperating from emergency surgery after her family says she was stabbed at a San Francisco bus stop Tuesday afternoon.
Police said she was one of two senior Asian women who were stabbed by the same man in what appears to be two unprovoked attacks.
Patricia Lee sells bouquets of flowers at a stand near 4th and Market streets. Before the attacks, she said she noticed a man holding a knife on his right side.
"The knife is pretty wide," she said. "It looked like an army knife. I called my nephew and I say, 'Hey, you know what? This guy has a knife. Something is going to happen.'"
Lee’s instincts were right. Police said 54-year-old Patrick Thompson walked up and repeatedly stabbed the two Asian women – one in her 80s and another in her 60s.
"I saw the jacket feathers all fly out," Lee said. "And then she screamed. She turned around, look at him."
Lee believes the stabbings were unprovoked, saying neither woman was facing their attacker.
"That’s when I saw the other lady on her knees and she realized she actually got hurt," Lee said. "I saw her. She was bleeding from the back."
The family of the 85-year-old victim created a GoFundMe page. The Eng family said their grandma was stabbed through her right arm and the knife went into her chest. She is now at San Francisco General Hospital recovering from surgery.
Police said the other victim also remains hospitalized.
Police arrested Thompson two hours after the attacks. He’s being held on charges of attempted murder and elder abuse.
"I can’t say it was a hate crime. I cannot say it was not a hate crime either," Lee said. "Regardless, he’s the only one that has the answers to that."
District Attorney Chesa Boudin said he’s expects to announce formal charges on Thursday.