Stabbing suspect connected to prior attack on boy

A transient accused of stabbing a woman who refused to hand him change Saturday morning may be the same man who nearly killed an 11-year-old boy on a Muni bus in September.

A 25-year-old woman was walking to work near Jones and Sutter streets around 10:45 a.m. when a man, who police said has been hanging around the area for months, asked her for change, police Sgt. Vinny Catanzero said.

The woman said she didn’t have any, but the man followed her and stabbed her in the upper back and buttocks, Catanzero said.

“She thought she was getting punched,” he said.

Catanzero said doctors are worried about the woman’s back wound because it’s dangerously close to her spine, but she’s expected to survive.

Within minutes of the stabbing, witnesses flagged an officer down and led him to 31-year-old Anthony Gracie in the Le Colonial restaurant’s parking lot about a block away.

Gracie did not have a weapon with him nor did he appear to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, but witnesses said they saw him use a six-inch blade.

An officer at the Central Police Station where Gracie was booked said he resembles a sketch of the suspect who stabbed 11-year-old Hatim Mansori on Sept. 1 while he was riding the 49-Van Ness bus in the Mission.

Mansori rode the bus alone for the first time that day, carrying a balloon in his lap that may have urged whoever stabbed him to pop it and subsequently slash his abdomen, Lt. Lyn Tomioka said.

“I think the boy’s home now,” Tomioka said. “But if he had been to the hospital a few minutes later, he would have bled to death.”

Witnesses who already sifted through several photos and lineups after Mansori was stabbed will be asked if they think Gracie is the same suspect. Gracie is currently in jail facing attempted robbery and assault with a deadly weapon charges.

“This guy is a stone-cold psychopath, and I do hope the victims are OK,” Catanzero said.

kkelkar@sfexaminer.com

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