A giant rainbow flag overlooks San Francisco’s Castro district. Photo: Rick Gerharter
San Francisco police have reported two stabbings, an attempted arson, and other incidents in the Castro district in recent days.
The first stabbing occurred at 10:45 p.m. Monday, April 20 at 18th and Church streets, near Dolores Park.
The victim, a 48-year-old man, was walking when he encountered three other men, who “demanded money,” Officer Albie Esparza, a police spokesman, said in a summary.
One suspect used a knife to stab the victim in his abdomen and chest and fled, without any money or other items.
The man was taken to San Francisco General Hospital with non-life threatening stab wounds to his lower chest and abdomen, Esparza said.
The suspects were described only as a white male and two Hispanic males, all in their 20s. No arrests have been reported.
Less than two hours later, at 1:15 a.m. Tuesday, April 21 at 18th and Castro streets, two women at a bus stop were in a verbal altercation “over which bus to take to get back to the Fillmore,” Esparza said.
The suspect cut the victim’s hand with a knife, causing a laceration. The victim was taken to San Francisco General Hospital.
The age of the suspect, who hasn’t been arrested, wasn’t known. She was described only as a black female. The victim is 23.
Around the same time Tuesday, there was an attempted arson at a bar in the 2200 block of Market Street.
Arson suspect Troy Collin McCormick. Photo: San Francisco Police Department
At 12:15 a.m., according to Esparza, a 27-year-old man “had a shopping cart in flames and pushed it against the front door, then he ran.”
Officers later arrested the man, whose name wasn’t available.
[Update Thursday, April 23:]
The incident occurred at the gay sports bar Hi Tops, 2247 Market Street.
Esparza said that Troy Collin McCormick, of San Francisco, was booked on arson charges and resisting arrest. He’s currently in custody.
Hi Tops co-owner Jesse Woodward said the incident occurred “right after we closed on Monday,” when staff were cleaning the bar.
Woodward, who wasn’t there at the time, said McCormick brought “a shopping cart full of garbage, lit it on fire, and put it in front of our doors.” There was no damage to the bar.
Police chased McCormick to the nearby Mix bar, at 4086 18th Street, where they arrested him, Woodward said.
He said McCormick has been to Hi Tops “often,” and he’s personally met him.
“We’ve never done anything to him,” Woodward said. Since he first visited the bar in February, “he just keeps coming and keeps threatening us. We stopped him from coming in months ago,” and staff has called police “every time” he’s shown up, but “he would keep coming back and making threats.”
McCormick once threw a glass at a bartender, and he’s said “he was going to drive a car through the bar,” Woodward said.
He doesn’t know why McCormick has problems with his bar, but he suspects McCormick is “a little bit mentally disturbed.”
The bar’s staff has tried to get a protective order, but “it was a little more complicated than we thought,” Woodward said. However, “the police are going to help us get a restraining order now that he’s in custody.”
McCormick’s comments haven’t been homophobic, Woodward said, and “I have no idea if he’s gay.” Nobody was injured in the incident.
He’s heard that McCormick’s gone to the Café nightclub, at 2369 Market Street, before, “and bugged them.” That bar “had to kick him out,” Woodward said.
A spokesman for the Café didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
A man who answered the phone at the Mix said he didn’t recognize McCormick’s name.
Alex Bastian, a spokesman for the district attorney’s office, said McCormick is being charged with arson, possession of an incendiary device, and resisting arrest. His arraignment is expected to be Friday, April 24 [End update].
The fight over which bus to take wasn’t the only incident at 18th and Castro this week. At 3:45 a.m. Monday, a man was robbed there.
Esparza said the incident started when the suspect approached a 40-year-old man from behind, “knocking him to the ground.” He took the victim’s wallet, cash, and credit card, and fled.
The victim suffered scratches to his hands but refused medical treatment.
No suspect description was available, and no arrests have been reported.
Finally, at 11:15 p.m. last Friday, April 17 in the 400 block of Castro, a 33-year-old man was hit by a Honda Accord after he walked into the street, outside the crosswalk.
The pedestrian had non-life threatening swelling to his head and a cut, and he was taken to San Francisco General Hospital.
The car’s driver, 28, was not arrested.
Anyone with information in any of the incidents may call the San Francisco Police Department’s anonymous tip line at (415) 575-4444. People may also text a tip to TIP411. Type SFPD in the subject line.
The incident numbers are: Stabbing at 18th and Church – 150346564, stabbing at 18th and Castro –150346730, attempted arson on Market – 150346655, robbery at 18th and Castro –150343623, and pedestrian struck on Castro –150337228.