In an exclusive interview, ABC 7 talked to the man who claims to be Mario Woods’ stabbing victim — a victim that some in the community had questioned the existence of, given that his identity has been under wraps since police shot and killed Woods on Dec. 2.
The victim, whom ABC 7 refers to as “Jacob,” is 26 years old, the same age as Woods when he died. According to him, he’d never met Woods before that tragic afternoon. He was in a car with two female friends and a child, parked at Third Street and Laconte Avenue, when he says Woods approached, looking “agitated about something and paranoid.”
[jump] Seeing that Woods held a knife, Jacob said he opened his car door and exchanged blows with Woods before being stabbed in the arm. Jacob didn’t call police, he said, but rushed to San Francisco General Hospital.
Shortly after, police arrived on the scene and a witness pointed out Woods. What happened next — Woods’ standoff with police, and his eventual shooting death, captured on cell phone footage that went viral — triggered widespread protests, outrage, and calls for police reform.
Jacob told ABC 7 that he didn’t know about Woods’ death until the following day. He described himself as the forgotten victim, unacknowledged amid all the public demonstrations and the recent declaration of a Mario Woods Day of Remembrance.
According to him, he suffered nerve damage and still has anxiety attacks. Although he understands the community’s desire for justice, he noted that “victims of black on black crime” fall by the wayside. He added that he still fears for his safety.
In the aftermath of Woods’ death, Mayor Lee, the Board of Supervisors, Woods family attorney John Burris, District Attorney George Gascón, and the American Civil Liberties Union all called for the Department of Justice to investigate the SFPD. Mayor Lee announced this week that the DoJ’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services will review the department and recommend policy reforms. Adopting those reforms will be voluntary.
The DoJ will not specifically review the Woods killing.