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Police arrest man in ‘disgusting and horrific’ stabbing of two Asian women in San

San Francisco police have arrested a 54-year-old man suspected of stabbing two Asian women in the Market Street area Tuesday afternoon, authorities said.

Tenderloin officers located the man, described as a resident of San Francisco, on the 600 block of Eddy Street. San Francisco police spokesman Robert Rueca said charges are pending.

Police have not determined if the attack was a hate crime.

Officers responding to a report of a stabbing at 4th and Stockton streets just before 5 p.m. found two women suffering from stab wounds, Rueca said in an email.

The women were transported to a local hospital with unknown injuries, police said.

District 6 Supervisor Matt Haney told The Chronicle that the two women were waiting at a bus stop when a man attacked them. One woman, 85, was stabbed in the arm and chest and is undergoing surgery at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, he said.

Haney Tuesday evening on Twitter called the attack “disgusting and horrific.” Haney referred to the women as “seniors,” but police did not confirm their ages.

“There is clearly a pattern of targeting Asian residents, and seniors in particular,” Haney said Tuesday evening. “It was a brazen attack in broad daylight with tons of people around, and it’s absolutely sickening. The person responsible needs to be held accountable, and the city needs to do more to prevent this from happening.”

San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin said that he was “Heartbroken tonight for two elderly AAPI victims” who were victims in the stabbing.

“We’re awaiting more info & praying for the victims as they undergo medical treatment,” Boudin said on Twitter.

Boudin thanked the Community Youth Center of San Francisco for “quickly responding & supporting the families” and added that, “We will not tolerate brutal attacks like this.”

Police said earlier that they searched the area for a male suspect but were unable to locate him. Rueca said they later found the man after investigators were alerted to a photo taken by a witness at the scene.

Officials said the investigation is ongoing.

The recent surge of hate crimes against the Asian American and Pacific Islander population has caused concerns within the community about how to keep vulnerable members safe.

Since the start of the pandemic through the end of 2020, 708 cases of hate or discrimination incidents against Asian Americans in the Bay Area were reported to the Stop AAPI Hate project. Most cases — 292 — occurred in San Francisco.

Foot patrol officers have increased in key areas and the city has provided members of the community with more resources to report and heal from hate crimes, but more needs to be done, Haney said.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the SFPD Tip Line at 1-415-575-4444 or Text a Tip to TIP411 and begin the text message with SFPD.

Vanessa Arredondo is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: vanessa.arredondo@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @v_anana

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