It was a busy weekend for police calls in the Mission District, with officers making one arrest among a rash of armed robberies, stabbings and assault cases.

Armed robbers targeted four people in separate incidents.

At 1:30 p.m. on Friday, two men approached a 37-year-old man in broad daylight on Mission Street between 14th and 15th streets. One suspect held a knife to the victim’s throat while the other searched for valuables, pocketing an MP3 player and the victim’s wallet before fleeing on foot, according to police.

Sgt. Dennis Toomer said the three men knew each other and the two suspects believed the victim owed them money.

Just after midnight Saturday morning, a 32-year-old woman was walking on Alvarado Street between Guerrero Street and San Jose Avenue when she noticed a suspicious woman exiting a vehicle and walking up behind her.

As the suspect was approaching, the victim removed her wallet and some other items from her purse, but before she could get her cell phone out of her purse, the suspect tackled her to the ground. The suspect fled with the woman’s purse and cell phone, jumping back into the vehicle, which sped away southbound on Valencia Street. The victim refused medical treatment, although she sustained some minor cuts to her knees and elbows. No arrests have been made in the case.

Just after 3 a.m. on Sunday, three men approached a 20-year-old man walking home on 18th Street. According to SFPD, the suspects surrounded the victim, pushing him against a wall and demanding his valuables. One suspect started punching the victim before ripping his watch off and grabbing his wallet out of his rear pockets. Another suspect smashed a beer bottle against the right side of the victim’s face. The third suspect pulled out a handgun from his waistband but the trio fled before any shots were fired. The victim was transported to St. Luke’s Hospital with facial lacerations and bruising.

A 39-year-old man sustained cuts and bruising during a robbery but ultimately got his stuff back after police arrested a suspect in a crime committed on Mission Street near 17th Street on Sunday afternoon.

Police said the suspect came up to the victim and inquired about the man’s backpack. When the two started arguing, the suspect punched the victim in face multiple times before fleeing with his backpack. Officers located the suspect, took the man into custody and returned the backpack to the victim.

In three separate incidents, another four people were stabbed in the Mission over the weekend. On Friday night around 6 p.m., an 18-year-old man was walking near the intersection of 18th and Mission Streets when an unknown male suspect walked by and stabbed the victim in the hip with a pocket knife. No arrests were made in that case and it is unclear if the two men knew each other.

On Saturday night, just after 7 p.m., a 57-year-old man was taken to San Francisco General Hospital with stab wounds to his shoulder and forearm, along with facial swelling, after four male suspects attacked him near the corner of 23rd Street and Mission Street.  The victim told police he had gotten into an altercation earlier in the evening with one of the suspects, and was later attacked by the suspect and his friends.

Around 8:30 p.m., four men of unknown ages attacked, stabbed and pepper sprayed three men at the intersection of 16th and Mission Streets. The victims, aged 29 and 32, were verbally arguing when the four suspects approached and stabbed them. A third victim, also involved in the argument, was pepper sprayed.

Toomer said Monday afternoon that police suspect the men involved were members of rival gangs. Two of the victims remain at San Francisco General Hospital with stab wounds but are expected to recover.

Police reported as suspicious the weekend death of Mission resident Juan R. Ortega, 56, but a friend of the Ortega family said the victim had died of an apparent heart attack.

The San Francisco Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed the victim’s name, age and city of residence on Monday, but said the official report on cause of death and other details would not be made public for several weeks.

The family friend, who declined to give his name, was interviewed as he arrived at Ortega’s home on Capp Street, near 23rd Street, on Monday afternoon bearing condolences and a box of Krispy Kreme donuts.

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Greta Mart is a Bay Area-based newspaper reporter and freelance writer, and currently a student at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. From 2005 to 2012 she was a staff reporter at two community newspapers in WA and CA, and has contributed to several Bay Area and Seattle area newspapers, as well as Pacific Yachting and Italy's Gulliver and La Republicca's D magazines. Greta holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Massachusetts at Boston and studied history at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. She lives aboard her sailboat at the Berkeley Marina.

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  1. Another successful week for the Community to Keep The Mission Unsafe and Smelling Like Urine and its chief officer, Mr David Campos. Keep up the excellent work.