SF library patrons, staff break up restroom stabbing

Library patrons and staff helped detain a man suspected of stabbing another man in the face with a kitchen knife inside a San Francisco Public Library restroom Monday, police said.

Louis Kessler, 40, allegedly kicked in the door of a first-floor bathroom stall and stabbed the man inside several times in the face and head around 4:40 p.m., police said. The victim tried to get away but couldn’t.

The stabbing was broken up by several bystanders and Christian Klotz, a health and safety associate at the scene, according to library officials.

“One of the health and safety associates immediately jumped into it,” said Michelle Jeffers, a spokesperson for the library. “They heard a ruckus and he came running in.”

Security officers then detained Kessler and locked him in a security room until a police officer stationed at the library, Sgt. Matt Loya, arrested him.

Police said the victim was taken to a local hospital and is expected to survive.

Kessler was booked into County Jail on suspicion of felonies attempted murder and false imprisonment, according to the sheriff’s department.

Police said the stabbing was over a black bag. The suspect thought the victim stole his bag.

Security officers heard that the pair know one another and that the confrontation began outside of the library, Jeffers said.

The stabbing was a rare incident at the library’s bathrooms, Jeffers said.

“We don’t usually have assaults in the bathroom,” said Jeffers. “We have sometimes behavior that violates our code of conduct but we don’t usually have any sorts of violent incidents,” noting that people sometimes use the restrooms to bathe.

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