A man in the middle of the street.
After the attack, the man walked into the middle of 16th Street. Photo by an onlooker. Taken at 6:34 p.m.

UPDATE: Thomas Baxter, a 70-year-old resident of San Francisco, has been booked at San Francisco County Jail on multiple charges in a Sunday night stabbing incident that left the victim with life-threatening injuries, according to the San Francisco Police Department. 

The charges against Baxter include attempted homicide, two counts of unlawful use of pepper spray, battery on a peace officer, and resisting arrest. 

Earlier reports said that one man had been pepper-sprayed, but police reported that a woman had also been pepper-sprayed. “During the detention,” the SFPD wrote, “the suspect resisted arrest and kicked one of the officers.” 

Baxter, born in Massachusetts, appears to have lived near the incident on 16th Street.

Correction: In an earlier email, the SFPD wrote that a suspect was still at large. They have corrected that. An investigation is under way, but there is no suspect at large, they said. “Anyone with information is asked to contact the SFPD at 415-575-4444 or text a tip to TIP411 and begin the message with SFPD.”

Sunday, 8:43 p.m.

Sometime after 6 p.m. on Sunday, a neighborhood resident stood drinking and chatting with his friends on the south side of 16th Street near Albion Street when another man, armed with two knives, stabbed him just above the chest. That’s according to Mike, who works at the Delirium Bar. 

“I think it was a psycho rampage,” Mike said. “I went over and talked to him [the victim] when he was laying on the ground, and he said, ‘yeah, yeah, I’m okay.’”  

The witness said the knife went in right above the victim’s heart. He said the victim, who he identified as Bruno, did not know the attacker, and that he also had not seen him in the neighborhood. 

“I saw my friend on his knees, with a massive piece of his chest cut,” said Mike. “Luckily, it did not go into his heart.” 

The attacker pepper-sprayed the victim’s companion and then walked into the middle of 16th Street, a knife in each hand, witnesses said. In the photograph of the man on the street, a knife can be seen clearly in one hand, but it is difficult to see what is in his left hand.

Police arrived and surrounded the attacker, a casually dressed man who appeared to be in his late 50s, and told him to put his knives down.  

“He went down on his own,” said one woman who watched the melee. 

The officers arrested him quickly, witnesses said.

The stabbing appeared to take place somewhere between Randa’s Market and Delirium. The sidewalk between the market and the corner of Albion and 16th streets, where Delirium’s entrance is, was splattered with blood. Delirium’s front entrance was taped off.

The cashier at Randa’s Market declined to be interviewed, and ordered the reporter out of his store. Officers on the scene were investigating the incident.

Update:

In jailhouse interview, stabbing suspect claims self-defense

Thomas Baxter, the 70-year-old charged with attempted murder in a stabbing on Sunday night, said today from the San Francisco County Jail that it was unbelievable that he was arrested for  “defending [himself] against the scum of the earth.”   On Sunday evening, Baxter stabbed one man, leaving him with life-threatening injuries, and pepper-sprayed two other people…

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Founder/Executive Editor. I’ve been a Mission resident since 1998 and a professor emeritus at Berkeley’s J-school since 2019 when I retired. I got my start in newspapers at the Albuquerque Tribune in the city where I was born and raised. Like many local news outlets, The Tribune no longer exists. I left daily newspapers after working at The New York Times for the business, foreign and city desks. Lucky for all of us, it is still there.

As an old friend once pointed out, local has long been in my bones. My Master’s Project at Columbia, later published in New York Magazine, was on New York City’s experiment in community boards.

Right now I'm trying to figure out how you make that long-held interest in local news sustainable. The answer continues to elude me.

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  1. the rules we agree to live by require individuals to respect each other and not harm another. expecting the police and politicians to prevent crime demonstrates the insanity of our public discourse.

  2. This is the fourth major assault in the Mission in less than a week (that I have heard about). I’m glad that the attacker was arrested. But what are Hillary Ronen, the mayor, and the cops doing to prevent these incidents? The mayor is missing in action; she does not even bother to make statements anymore. Ronen wrings her hands. The cops do what they can considering that they are down 800 people.

    Does no one care at all?

    1. Here’s a reality check – SFPD do not care about you, your family, the citizens or ANYONE who isn’t also a cop. It was bad 10 years ago – now it’s worse. You see cops don’t like to be told they have to follow ROE, they don’t like it when other cops are charged with murder and they sure as s**t don’t like the people they swore to protect. This is evident throughout the country. The police will either shoot you for kicks or they will continue their “quiet quitting” – either was crime PREVENTION is a fantasy…

    2. Ha Breed has been sitting around eating bon bons since covid! The popo stopped doing anything when they got their wittle egos hurt because the residents of sf said they had to stop shooting people who were in psych crisis, or unarmed or simply not white.