The massive 420 gathering in Golden Gate Park on Friday was a sobering experience for a teen who was stabbed in the arm while trying to save his female friend from being hit on.
The incident, police say, was the only violent disruption during the gathering on Hippie Hill in Golden Gate Park, which occurs every April 20. The day is a celebration of marijuana, said to have begun at San Rafael High School in 1971, when about a dozen pot smokers met daily to smoke at 4:20 p.m.
About 7:30 p.m. Friday, police went to the California Pacific Medical Center Davies Campus, located at 45 Castro St., on a report that a 16-year-old had been stabbed in the arm.
More than four hours earlier, police said, the victim had reportedly run into an 18-year-old female friend on Hippie Hill. At one point, an unknown man in his 20s approached the two and began hitting on the woman, Sgt. Daryl Fong said. The 16-year-old came to the aid of his female companion, but the suspect brandished a knife, Fong said. The boy was stabbed in the arm while trying to block the thug’s attack on him.
The suspect fled after the stabbing and has not been found, Fong said. Police weren’t called about the incident until after the boy showed up at the hospital, he said. The teen’s injuries were not life- threatening.
Despite the stabbing, police said the majority of attendees at Friday’s unsanctioned park smoke-out were laid-back.
“With the numbers involved — I believe the event was quite large — the number of incidents was relatively small,” Fong said.
Other than the stabbing, Fong said, reported incidents included a single battery and a separate medical call. Police were not arresting anyone for smoking in public, saying their concern was ensuring public safety.
The celebration has apparently mellowed out from last year, when police reported an uptick in criminal incidents and medical calls. Gatherings before last year had been relatively peaceful, police said.