Mural artist stabbed while working on piece

A San Francisco artist who was chosen by city officials to paint a mural on Market Street was stabbed last weekend, and his paint was stolen while working on the piece.

Glen Park resident Jason Hailey, known among artists as “Chor Boogie,” has been painting a 100-foot-long mural in the 1000 block of Market Street as part of a series of city projects intended to beautify the seedy strip and attract more pedestrians and bicyclists.

But on Saturday, the aerosol artist became a victim of that effort.

While working on the colorful mural around 7:15 p.m., Hailey was attacked by three male assailants after a female swiped one of his spray cans, according to reports from the artist, his agent and those corroborated by the Police Department.

The artist was jumped after trying to retrieve the spray can, police said. The assailants reportedly fled on a Muni bus and remain at large.

Hailey suffered two stab wounds not considered life-threatening and was released from San Francisco General Hospital on Sunday, police said.

The stabbing occurred about two weeks after Mayor Gavin Newsom held a media event on mid-Market Street to tout recent improvements in the area, including a largely expanded police presence.

During the event, Newsom said the area was being patrolled by 32 beat officers, 16 per shift, which is double the number prior to the changes. At one point, the mayor helped paint a portion of Hailey’s mural after the artist handed him a spray can.

In a statement, Luis Cancel of the Arts Commission said he was “shocked” about the stabbing.

“With the exception of this recent event, none of the installations in the Tenderloin and Market Street project areas have been vandalized, which is a testament to their positive impact,” Cancel said.

The stabbing, however, will not deter Hailey from finishing his mural.

In recounting the incident on Facebook, the artist wrote that the struggle could have happened “anywhere to anyone.”

“Crisis precipitates change,” Hailey wrote, adding that he “looks forward to helping beautify the community.”

maldax@sfexaminer.com
 

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