San Francisco Police and SF Fire EMTs help a victim who was allegedly stabbed at the Muni platform at Fourth and Market streets on Tuesday, May 4, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Man pleads not guilty to attempted murder in Market Street stabbings

Patrick Thompson makes first court appearance in high-profile case

A man with a history of mental health issues who authorities say brutally stabbed two women along San Francisco’s Market Street last week pleaded not guilty Monday to charges including attempted murder.

Patrick Thompson, 54, was arraigned Monday at his first court appearance in the high-profile case after refusing to come to the Hall of Justice last Friday from County Jail. He has been charged with multiple counts of attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and elder abuse over the stabbings.

The District Attorney’s Office has asked that Thompson be held in custody without the option of bail after he allegedly stabbed two older women who were standing at a bus stop near Fourth and Market streets.

The women survived but were seriously injured, with one of the victims suffering a punctured lung and medical staff at the hospital having to remove the knife left embedded in the other woman.

In court on Monday, a judge tentatively ordered that Thompson remain in custody, finding based on the incident report from the case that his release could result in someone being seriously injured.

Thompson was also ordered to remain away from the two victims in the case as well as the scene of the attack.

Attorneys are expected to make further arguments about his custody status Thursday morning.

The Thompson case has made national headlines because both victims in the case are Asian. While the incident remains under investigation, authorities have not alleged that race played a factor in the attack.

Thompson was previously arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon in connection with a 2017 incident. He was found incompetent to stand trial and initially sent to Napa State Hospital before his case resumed.

In 2018, he was referred to Mental Health Diversion and released from custody under the program, which offers court-monitored treatment and services, prosecutors say. He was arrested several times during his release on bench warrants for missing court but was not booked on any new charges except being in possession of a pipe.

His defense attorney has said Thompson “successfully completed” the program last year.

After court last Friday, Deputy Public Defender Eric Fleischaker told reporters that Thompson has suffered from mental health issues his “entire adult life.”

“This is not a hate crime,” Fleischaker said. “There is no evidence to support a hate crime. What we know is that Mr. Thompson was suffering from a mental health crisis and was psychiatrically hospitalized immediately after this incident.”

District Attorney Chesa Boudin has handled the case himself in court thus far. Outside the Hall of Justice last Friday, he called the attack “outrageous” and told reporters he visited the victims at the hospital.

“I’ve seen with my own eyes the very real harm that was caused to them,” Boudin said. “We are going to continue to support them, we are going to continue to push this case forward and seek justice for them and for everyone in San Francisco.”

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