San Francisco - The man charged with the unprovoked attacks of two Asian women at a San Francisco bus stop refused to come to court Friday, delaying his arraignment on attempted-murder charges.
Patrick Thompson, 54, will now be arraigned on Monday at the San Francisco Hall of Justice unless he again declines to show up, said District Attorney Chesa Boudin, who appeared in court Friday on behalf of his office.
"We were unable to proceed with the arraignment," Boudin said.
The attack was caught on surveillance video obtained by KTVU. The victims were stabbed while waiting for the bus near 4th and Market streets.
Thompson was charged with attempted murder, assault and elder abuse. But he wasn't accused of any hate crimes.
"At this point in time, we don't have any information that suggests a specific motive such as hate crimes," said Boudin.
But he said, "This case is outrageous. The violence the elders in our Chinese community are experiencing is sickening, and we must do a better job as a city to keep our community safe."
Tracy McCray, vice president of the San Francisco Police Officers Association, blasted Boudin, a former public defender, for showing up in court.
"It kind of reads to me like a publicity stunt, just something he's doing because he's been, you know, under fire for his policies and the crime and the repeat offenders," McCray said.
Repeat offenders like Thompson. He was found mentally incompetent to stand trial after being charged in 2017 with stabbing a man with scissors at a homeless shelter. He was sent to Napa State Hospital and mental health diversion.
"It is not right that people keep committing the same crimes and get released out of jail or prison to go back to the streets to commit the same crimes," said Leanna Louie of San Francisco, among a group of residents who called on Boudin to aggressively prosecute crimes against Asians.
One of Thompson's latest alleged victims is an 85-year-old woman. Her grandchildren visited her in the hospital and say she's recovering after surgery.
Andrew Eng, her grandson told KTVU it's "good news" that Thompson is being prosecuted.
Boudin says he believes he'll prove the case.
"We have the capacity to hold Mr. Thompson accountable for the harm we believe we can prove he committed," Boudin said.
In a statement, the public defender's office said no hate crimes were committed and that Thompson was suffering from a mental health crisis.
"Mr. Thompson has suffered from mental health issues his entire adult life, and is someone who thrives when given proper care -- as he did for the nearly two years that he was part of the rigorous, court-mandated Mental Health Diversion program, where he was able to live independently without incident and eagerly participate in his own healing," the statement said.
"Sadly, many life-saving social services have not been available during the COVID crisis, and the lack of consistent care led to this situation, which is tragic for all involved," it added. "We extend our greatest sympathies to the victims in this case and wish them a full and speedy recovery."