Witnesses sought in birthday knifing

A man celebrating his 21st birthday at a South of Market nightclub Saturday night was brutally beaten and stabbed in a possible gang-related incident, and San Francisco police are calling on one of dozens of witnesses to come forward.

The victim had been making the best of his coming-of-age party, drinking and partying inside Club Hide at 278 Seventh St., before sustaining life-threatening injuries, according to witnesses.

Ray Chalker, owner of the club previously known as Rawhide, said the birthday boy went “berserk” drinking at a Halloween-themed party.

He was up on stage with the entertainers and causing a disturbance in the club, Chalker said. Security had to escort the man outside.

The stabbing occurred a short time later, around 2 a.m. Sunday, more than a block away, with as many as 30 witnesses.

Despite dozens of witnesses, police have released only a vague description of the suspects. The one who pulled the knife is described as a stocky Hispanic man, weighing 220 to 240 pounds. He had his black hair pulled back in a ponytail and he was dressed in black, according to police. Descriptions of the other two suspects are unclear. Police questioned the club’s bouncers early Thursday, but no further information was released.

Chalker said this is the first hint of violence the club has seen in the 27 years he’s owned the place.

“Never, ever, ever in all the years that I’ve been open has something happened like this, and it happened way up the street.”

Witnesses can contact the San Francisco Police Department confidential tip line at (415) 575-4444.

bbegin@examiner.com

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