The 24-year-old Latino man attacked on the corner of 16th and Mission Streets after exiting a 49-Van Ness Muni bus shortly after midnight Monday fought one assailant while another stabbed him in the shoulder, according to police. He was assaulted after the suspects approached him and demanded to know the victim’s gang affiliation.
The stabbing occurred the morning that new Captain Greg Corrales took charge of Mission Station.
“My intent is to make every part of the Mission District safe at any hour of day and night—there is no tolerance of any violent conduct,” said Corrales.
“That’s an area that’s heavily patrolled now as it is,” he said, adding that despite the late hour of the call, a sergeant from the gang task force was on the scene immediately.
Despite the similarities between this attack and last month’s beating of Christopher Borgzinner on the 9-San Bruno, which took place just outside the Mission after the actor was questioned about and denied any gang affiliation, Corrales said Monday’s crime does not signify a trend.
Inspector Ed Yu, of the gang task force agreed.
“We get cases like this every week, to say crime is on the rise is jumping ahead of the game,” said Yu.
“This year’s actually been pretty contained,” said Yu, as far as violent attacks on 24th and 16th Streets, adding that things had been “pretty quiet” since the three homicides that took place on 24th Street in mid-September.
Unlike Borgzinner, who believed he was attacked because he wore red shoes, the color associated with the Norteño gang, the victim “didn’t really have a good idea,” why he was targeted, said Sgt. Tony Chaplain, a member of the gang task force that responded to the call.
“Just that at some point they may have associated him with the rival gang,” said Chaplain.
The victim claimed no gang affiliation, but he believed his two assailants, whom he described as Latino men in their late teens, to be in the Norteño gang, said police.
The victim didn’t call the police until 3:30 a.m. on Monday, three hours after the stabbing. “It’s hard to search the area, after so many hours,” said Chaplain.
The gang task force is currently investigating the crime, reaching out to its contacts in the community for leads, said Chaplain.