A man was stabbed soon after he exited a Muni bus on 16th and Mission streets at 1:30 a.m. Monday after his assailants, two Latino men believed to be in their late teens demanded to know his gang affiliation, according to police.
The victim tried to ignore the suspects and turned away, but as he turned, one stabbed the victim twice in the shoulder, according to police. Both suspects fled on foot. No arrests have been made. The victim was treated for non-life-threatening injuries at San Francisco General Hospital.
Police did not say which bus the victim had been riding. The victim did not know which, if any, gang the suspects were affiliated with, said Sgt. Lyn Tomioka.
The stabbing comes a month and a half after Christopher Borgzinner, a young actor who appears in the film “La Mission,” was severely beaten on the 9-San Bruno Muni bus by a group of young men after being questioned about which gang he claimed. He denied any affiliation.
On Monday, Muni riders were not surprised by the attack. Mitchell Peppars, 42, waited for the 14-Mission as the sun went down.
“It’s almost a fact of life,” said Peppars, a long time Mission resident. “These kids need to grow up and stop watching TV. Once they get older, I hope they realize they’re going to end up in jail or dead.”
“Indian,” 20 and a local tagger who goes by that moniker, said he grew up in the Mission but has never had any problems with gangs.
“I was always into skateboarding and other things besides gangs,” he said. He found out about last night’s stabbing from a friend.
A 50-year-old man who preferred to remain anonymous said he was robbed at gunpoint a year and a half ago on 18th and Mission.
“Here, the people walk around in fear of getting assaulted,” he said. “Mission street is violent. Many have been killed on this street.” He thinks most of the violence is drug-related.
Patrice, who like others asked that his last name not be used, is a 53-year-old French immigrant who lives on the streets. He said the most dangerous people are between 14 and 18 years old.
“The reason is because they have frustrations, familial problems,” he said. “For them to fight is a sign of virility, a method to say ‘I’m somebody.” But, he added, it’s a mistake.
“Turf is stupid,” said 61-year-old Phoebe, who comes to the Mission to dance at salsa clubs. “These kids don’t even own property and they’re talking about property. They attack people that are totally not in gangs—it happened to a girl across the street a while back and they made her take off her red shirt.”
In the eight years that 29-year-old Joshua Sirotiak has lived in the Mission, he’s seen four shootings and stabbings on three different blocks—18th and Capp, 14th and Mission, and 24th and Shotwell.
“I think police on foot talking to people and getting to know the people that are ultimately the victims is a big thing,” he said.
Jose, an immigrant from Guatemala, related the violence to unemployment.
“Without a lot of work, people don’t have much to do,” he said.