Man slashed by sword-wielding assailant wearing MAGA hat

The attack left a trail of blood on the sidewalk outside the Church of 8 Wheels

A sword-wielding suspect wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat allegedly slashed a man outside a roller rink in the Western Addition on Friday night, according to police and witnesses on social media.

The attack left a trail of blood on the sidewalk outside the Church of 8 Wheels near Fell and Fillmore streets where police say the victim was cut on the hand at around 9:50 p.m and taken to a local hospital.

Officer Robert Rueca, a police spokesperson, said the victim was stabbed after approaching the suspect. Rueca said the suspect’s “hat came off his head” as the victim passed by him. The suspect then took out a sword and attacked the victim before fleeing on foot.

Police had not made an arrest in the case or released a detailed description of the suspect as of Sunday morning. The victim is expected to survive.

Witnesses posted photos of the scene on social media, including widely shared images of a MAGA hat on the ground near a pool of blood. MAGA hats are a symbol of Donald Trump’s presidency.

One witness said on Twitter that he and his girlfriend encountered the suspect before the slashing at a nearby convenience store.

The witness, identified in media reports as Scott Sweeney, said the man shouted homophobic slurs at them after the couple flipped him off for glaring at them and wearing the MAGA hat.

Sweeney said the suspect had the sword tucked into the back of his jacket.

“In our minds, it was so bizarre that we thought it was just an anime enthusiast with a fake sword,” Sweeney said on Twitter.

David Miles, who runs the roller rink, said in a Facebook video that he was inside the rink when the attack happened.

“I come running out here, this guy was just bleeding like you wouldn’t believe,” Miles said. “There was a hat on the ground here, a MAGA hat.”

Miles said the victim chased the suspect down the street.

“There were some eyewitnesses that came into the church and said the guy was messing with them,” he said.

Miles said the Church of 8 Wheels is an inclusive space.

“Just come on in, put some heels on your feet, go skate,” Miles said. “We let everybody in. We don’t care. We’re not here to classify you. We’re not the zoo. We’re not the Smithsonian. All you do is come in here and have a funky good time. That’s what we do. We don’t give a damn what you voted for.”

mbarba@sfexaminer.com

Crime

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