5:06 PM: “Good news” is an overstatement, perhaps, but “not bad news on the video footage from today’s stabbing on the J-Church: MTA spokesperson Judson True says in an email sent to the media that the MTA’s “provided the San Francisco Police Department with video surveillance from the J Church light rail vehicle on which a 24-year-old woman was stabbed this morning” and that “the SFPD will determine what if any video or images are released.”
Coincidentally, as we received that email, SFPD spokesperson Sgt. Wilfred Williams gave us a call, so we asked him So, what have you determined? Will y’all be releasing any video or images?
Williams says the SFPD’s working to extract images of sufficient quality to “help the public identify a suspect.” And that when they do, they’ll release those images for all of us to see. Until then, Williams says “we can’t ever get enough tips or witnesses.” So, if you know anything about today’s attack, call SFPD’s anonymous tipline at 415.575.4444 or text them at TIP411.
3:28 PM (BCN):A man who stabbed a woman on a San Francisco Municipal Railway train this morning resembles the suspect sought in the stabbing of an 11-year-old boy on a Muni bus in September, police said.
Today’s incident was reported at 10:40 a.m. on an outbound J-Church train.
Police spokesman Sgt. Wilfred Williams said a 24-year-old woman sitting near the back of the train was stabbed twice on the left side of her torso.
The train operator was alerted of the situation and the train stopped on Church Street near 18th Street. The woman was taken to San Francisco General Hospital and is expected to survive.
The suspect was described as a 25- to 40-year-old black man, about 6 feet tall with a full beard and a “bad body odor.” He was wearing a black sweatshirt, a black jacket over the sweatshirt, and a black do-rag on his head.
“There are similar characteristics” to the man who stabbed 11-year-old Hatim Mansori on a Muni bus heading through the Mission District on Sept. 1, Williams said.
Mansori was riding home alone in the back of a 49 Van Ness/Mission bus at 19th and Mission streets when he was stabbed and seriously wounded by a man police then described as a “scruffy-looking,” possibly homeless black man with a bad body odor who was wearing a black sweatshirt.
Mansori later recovered from his wounds but the suspect was never found.
In both cases, the attacker said nothing to the victims before stabbing them, police said.
Williams said police will review the camera on the J-Church train to see if it captured today’s attack.
He said the suspect was seated near the victim on the train, then got up and walked past her toward the front of the train before turning around and, without any words or interaction, stabbing her twice, Williams said.
The man stopped to pick up a pair of tennis shoes that had been dangling by the shoelaces around his neck and had fallen off, and then got off the train near Church and Market streets, according to Williams. He fled in an unknown direction.
Muni service on the J-Church line was disrupted for about two hours during the investigation, and bus shuttles were set up to carry riders along Church streets, spokesman Judson True said.
12:30 PM: MTA spokesperson Kristin Holland tells us that the J-Church has returned to regular service. No news yet on the reported stabbing, or the condition of the victim.
11:20 AM: MTA spokesperson Judson True alerts us that “regular J Church light rail service has been disrupted because of police activity on an outbound (southbound) J Church light rail vehicle (LRV) on Church at 18th Street” and that shuttle buses are providing service between Church and 16th and Church and 22nd.
“According to initial reports, one female passenger was stabbed by another passenger” says True. According to Twitter user Justin
the guy stabbed a lady in the side and ran off the back of the J towards castro. Kudos to the riders for quick action and help! He also notes that the victim ” seemed okay. There was blood all over her hands and body though. Don’t know if the stabber was caught.”
Justin says the stabbing occurred at around 10:20 this morning. True says the victim “was transported to San Francisco General Hospital. The severity of her injuries is unknown.”
We’re contacting the SFPD and will report back when we know more. Update: SFPD says they have no info for now, but will call us back when they do.