Suspect in Golden Gate Park stabbing surrenders to police

A transient has turned himself in for stabbing a 19-year-old man in a popular area of Golden Gate Park on Tuesday, police said.

Nicholas Berner, a 23-year-old New York native, surrendered to cops Wednesday afternoon, police said. Police say he stabbed the 19-year-old Eugene, Ore., native twice — once in the back and once in the arm — at Alvord Lake near Haight and Stanyan streets around 6:10 p.m.

The victim survived the attack. After the stabbing, Berner allegedly fled the scene with a male accomplice. A police sergeant recognized the pair by their descriptions and called for a manhunt.

Cops found and detained the accomplice Wednesday morning, police said. They questioned him, released him, then later in the day Berner surrendered, police said.

He was booked at Park Station for assault with a deadly weapon, police said.

The stabbing is the latest in a string of violent incidents in The City’s most popular park. Transients are known to hang out in the area where the stabbing occurred.

On Sunday, a man walking his dog found a body and severed arm on the south side of the Polo Field, at Middle and Martin Luther King Jr. drives, police said. The area is known to have homeless encampments, but it is not clear if there is any connection between them and the body.

Authorities have not identified the body or revealed how the arm was removed, but they said both were already decomposing when found. An investigation is ongoing.

In another alarming incident in late August, a 53-year-old homeless man was found beaten to death at Kezar Stadium near the Park Police Station.

In July, two unleashed dogs owned by transients attacked three people in the park, sending them to a hospital.

Also that month, 25-year-old transient Adam Noyes was allegedly stabbed in the heart by a fellow transient, 65-year-old Richard Ray, near the Conservatory of Flowers. Ray, who has said Noyes attacked him first, flagged down a passing car after the incident near John F. Kennedy and Conservatory drives. Ray has been charged with murder.

The incidents exacerbate controversial city-policy battles regarding the handling of San Francisco’s large transient population. In July, the Recreation and Park Department added a “special daily evening patrol,” and police stepped up efforts to patrol the eastern portions of the park and near the Conservatory of Flowers.

Also, officials are considering closing the park from 1 to 5 a.m. daily to root out illegal camping. The move would allow police to charge campers and late-night loiterers with trespassing.

maldax@sfexaminer.com

Bay Area NewsCrimeCrime & CourtsLocalSan Francisco

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

City officials closed San Francisco County Jail No. 4 on the top floor of the Hall of Justice at 850 Bryant St. in September, reducing the number of beds in the jail system by about 400. 
Kevin N. Hume/
S.F. Examiner
SF jail closure prompts doctor to call for release of more inmates

Reduced space increases risk of COVID-19 spreading among those in custody

Cyclists have flocked to Market Street since private vehicles were largely banned from a long stretch of it in January. (Amanda Peterson/Special to the S.F. Examiner)
Plans for sidewalk-level bikeway on Market Street dropped due to costs, increased cyclist volume

Advocates say revisions to Better Market Street fail to meet safety goals of project

Prop. 21 would allow San Francisco city officials to expand rent control to cover thousands more units. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Tenant advocates take another try at expanding rent control with Prop. 21

Measure would allow city to impose new protections on properties 15 years or older

Tenderloin residents are finding benefits to having roads closed in the neighborhood. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Should there be fewer cars in the Tenderloin’s future?

The pandemic has opened San Franciscans’ eyes to new uses of urban streets

Singer-songwriter Cam is finding musicmaking to be healing during 2020’s world health crisis. 
Courtesy 
Dennis Leupold
Cam challenges country music tropes

Bay Area-bred songwriter releases ‘The Otherside’

Most Read