Two older Asian women were stabbed on the street in San Francisco on Tuesday, the latest in a rise in anti-Asian violence nationwide since last year.
The women, a 63-year-old who has not been identified and an 85-year-old grandmother named Chui Fong Eng, were waiting for the bus on Market Street in the city’s downtown when they were stabbed, unprovoked.
Both were taken to the hospital, the 63-year-old with non-life-threatening injuries and Eng with initially life-threatening injuries that have since become non-life-threatening, police said.
A suspect, 54-year-old Patrick Thompson, was arrested later on Tuesday and booked on charges of attempted murder and elder abuse.
By Wednesday, both women were stable and out of surgery, according to local supervisor Matt Haney.
On a GoFundMe page set up by Eng’s family, her granddaughter Victoria Eng said the 85-year-old was “recovering well” and “the ultimate fighter.”
“These Asian hate crimes need to stop. Our hearts go out to all those who have been injured, killed, or affected by this wave of racist crimes toward the Asian community,” Victoria Eng wrote. “San Francisco is my home and my Grandma’s home. We need to feel safe where we live and not in constant fear.”
Asian Americans have reported a surge in racist violence since early 2020, often related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hate crimes targeting members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community rose by 150% in major U.S. cities last year, according to a report by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino.
A coalition of Asian American advocacy groups called Stop AAPI Hate has recorded an alarming 6,600 reports of racist violence against Asian Americans from March 2020 through March 2021 — nearly 3,000 of which occurred this past March alone. People reported being subjected to racial slurs, spat on and physically assaulted. Women made up nearly two-thirds of those targeted.
Nearly 40% of the attacks reported to Stop AAPI Hate were in California. Other recent incidents of anti-Asian violence in the Bay Area included a father who was walking his 1-year-old in a stroller last week in San Francisco’s Mission Bay neighborhood being viciously punched to the ground. In March — just a day after a mass shooting in Georgia that killed eight people, including six Asian women — 76-year-old Xiao Zhen Xie was waiting at a traffic light, also on Market Street in San Francisco, when a man punched her in the face unprovoked.
The San Francisco District Attorney is expected to announce charges in this week’s stabbings later on Thursday.
“We must stand in unwavering support of the AAPI community, which has been victimized by senseless violence, racism, and hatred over the past year and beyond,” DA Chesa Boudin said in a statement, calling the attack on the women “brutal” and “unspeakable,” and saying those who commit such violence will be held accountable.
“Attacks on our AAPI community and especially on our elderly residents are horrifying,” he added, “not just to the victims who suffer physical injury but to the entire AAPI community that has been living in fear.”
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.