When April kicked off a couple weeks ago, San Francisco Police Department data showed knife-related assaults in the city were on a welcome decline compared to this time last year.
Things were looking up in regard to violent assaults, generally, even though January started off hot with 36 knife attacks, including one “mayhem with a knife” incident. February and March were at 23 and 21 respectfully, a downward trend from 2017.
But whatever optimism police may have had came crashing down over the weekend. Authorities responded to five knife-related assaults city-wide between Friday and Sunday, which seriously injured three victims. Two instances occurred in the Mission, and all netted zero arrests, police said Monday.
Starting just after 5 p.m. on Friday, three men in their mid-20s chased another male in his mid-20s into a store near 17th and Mission streets, stabbed him, and fled. The victim was then transported to the hospital with life-threatening injuries.
A few hours later, on Saturday morning just after midnight, two men fought inside a tent across town in the Tenderloin near Leavenworth Street and Golden Gate Avenue. A 49-year-old male was stabbed by another man who has not been identified.
Later Saturday night, an assault similar to the first one occurred back in the Mission District around 5 p.m. Three unknown males approached a male victim, 50, near 24th Street and Potrero Avenue. The suspects stabbed the victim and fled.
Sunday rivaled Saturday with another two knife-related incidents, both resulting in life-threatening injuries. Police said just after 6 a.m. Sunday morning, nine men brandishing knives and blunt objects assaulted a 57-year-old man near 17th and Mission streets in the Mission. The victim was transported to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. Like all the other incidents, nobody was arrested.
Then finally at 9 p.m., the weekend stabbing bonanza ended near the Panhandle when police responded to an incident at Page and Ashbury streets. The male victim, 33, was walking his dog down Page Street when the suspect, a male in his 50s, began yelling slurs at him. After the victim confronted the suspect, the suspect stabbed the victim prior to fleeing on foot west on Page Street. The victim was transported to the hospital with life-threatening injuries.
So, what a weekend. Five stabbings, three victims in critical condition, no arrests.
But are five stabbings in three days a lot? SF Weekly compiled data for the last year starting in March 2017 for all assaults in the city involving knives. The search parameters included aggravated assaults with a knife, the most common instance, plus attempted homicides with a knife, mayhem with a knife, and even assaulting a police officer with a knife.
Starting in September 2017, averages noticeably began to decline up until January 2018, when 36 knife-related assaults were reported — a sudden uptick. But the trend went down in the months following, that is, up until this weekend, when five stabbings occurred in three days.
Last month saw 21 knife-related assaults. Given that data for April has not yet been released, it’s hard to determine whether or not this is the sign of an uptick, or was just a particularly bad weekend for knife assaults in San Francisco.