San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee said today there is no plan to alter the city’s policy toward Occupy protesters in the wake of stabbings on two consecutive nights at an encampment along Market Street.
The stabbings occurred on Sunday and Monday nights outside the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco at 101 Market St., where a number of “reoccupiers” from Occupy SF have been stationed on the sidewalk since last month, according to the group’s website.
The Sunday night stabbing critically injured a 28-year-old man. A day later, a 27-year-old man suffered injuries that are not considered life-threatening, police said.
No arrests had been made in either case as of late this morning, police spokesman Officer Albie Esparza said.
Lee, speaking at an unrelated event this morning, said he has been briefed on the incidents and does not believe they should affect the protesters’ rights to assemble on the sidewalk there.
“The protesters have a right to be there, they’re all within the law,” Lee said.
“I have no problem with them being there,” he said, adding that there are “no tents that we know of” at the site.
In December, Lee authorized a raid on a large encampment of protesters who had set up tents at Justin Herman Plaza at the foot of Market Street, citing a city law banning camping in tents in public spaces and a determination by the city that the site was a public health hazard.
Police are pursuing leads in the two stabbings.
In the Monday attack, which was reported at 11:39 p.m., the 27-year-old victim and a suspect were arguing when the suspect pulled out a knife and stabbed the victim once in his neck.
The suspect, a white man between 30 and 40 years old who is about 5 feet 11 inches tall with a thin build, fled toward a nearby BART station and has not been found, police said.
The previous night, around 10:40 p.m., the 28-year-old victim was stabbed during a dispute with another man.
The suspect in Sunday’s stabbing was described as a white man between 20 and 25 years old who is about 5 feet 5 inches tall, weighs about 135 pounds and has blond hair and blue eyes. He was last seen wearing a dark-colored beanie, a dark-colored puffy jacket and black-framed glasses, according to police.
According to an email sent by Occupy SF media, “OccupySF would like to make clear that neither of the attackers were members of the Occcupation group. Both individuals are unknown to the group.”
Anyone with information about either stabbing is encouraged to call the Police Department’s anonymous tip line at (415) 575-4444 or send a tip by text message to TIP411.
Dan McMenamin, Bay City News