According to Hatim Mansori’s mother, Laila Elfazouzi, Hatim is not completely certain that local transient and multi-county repeat offender Bobby Brown was the person who stabbed him on Muni last September. “Hatim says [Brown] looks like [his attacker], but he’s not 100 percent sure,” she said, stressing that Hatim is concerned with correctly identifying his assailant. “He doesn’t want to make a mistake … it was three months ago, and he was only ten years old, so it’s hard.”
Brown, it should be noted, had been detained by SFPD after Hatim’s stabbing, then released when Hatim was not able to identify him as his attacker. The Appeal called the SF District Attorney’s office and Brown’s defense attorney for comment, but we haven’t received a response by publication time. If they do call us back, we shall update. ADA Brian Buckelew has responded, please scroll down for the update.
Hatim – who Elfazouzi said felt very nervous about going to court and possibly confronting the man that stabbed him during his first solo Muni ride – is still recovering from the attack, both physically and mentally. Elfazouzi said he often asks her why the stabbing had to happen to him. “I tell him, it’s not only you – a lot of people get hurt, a lot of people in this world are sick. But it’s hard for a boy to understand,” Elfazouzi said. “The man who stabbed my son changed our lives from happy to terrible and uncomfortable.”
Although Hatim’s doctors say he is almost back to normal (he is currently undergoing physical therapy), Elfazouzi said he is still unable to play sports and run around with his friends. “His life has changed a lot. He was very happy, and now he can’t do the things he used to enjoy.” Elfazouzi recently took her son, formerly an avid swimmer, to her friend’s complex swimming pool. “He tried – he always says, ‘Mom, I tried,’ but his stomach hurt too much to swim.”
Hatim is also self-conscious of the giant scar that now runs across his stomach. “I asked him if it was the water that hurt him or if it was something else, and he told me that too many people were looking at his stomach,” Elfazouzi said. “Everything is different now.”
A few weeks ago someone wrote into my column, “Ask the Appeal,” wondering why Hatim was not put on Healthy San Francisco by “our concerned mayor,” who’d publicly set up a fund for Hatim and his family which Elfazouzi was told should be used on Hatim’s education.
When I first posed this question to the Mayor’s Office, I was told by multiple spokespeople that the matter was “highly personal and confidential” – they could have just told me that Healthy SF is only for those over 18 years old (pro tip: that sounds way more press-friendly than “we’ll never tell”).
Elfazouzi, a single mother of three, is definitely in need of financial assistance; she was a member of Kaiser Permanente for eight years, thanks to a job in guest services for Ritz Carlton hotels, but was laid off a few months before Hatim was stabbed and consequently lost her insurance. While the city’s Victim’s Assistance program took care of Hatim’s medical bills, he and his family remain uninsured.
While Lindsay Angelats, Senior Health Program Planner for the city, says Elfazouzi herself is probably eligible for Healthy San Francisco, and her family for other state services, Elfazouzi says she’d prefer to find a job that offers “real” insurance.
After things calm down, she will return to the dozens of job applications that she says completely cover her kitchen table. However, Elfazouzi added, “It’s one thing to lose a job – what my son is going through and has gone through is beyond that.”
Update 3:28 PM: ADA Brian Buckelew returned our call, telling us that the DA’s office is certain that all of the cases they’re charging Brown with “can be proved beyond a reasonable doubt” and that the DA’s office “sat down with the inspectors for half a day” before determining that the evidence in Hatim’s and the other attacks was strong enough to go ahead with the case.
Additional reporting, Eve Batey