MAGA hat slasher arrested
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A suspect who slashed a man's hand with a sword outside a popular roller rink in the Western Addition last weekend has been arrested, according to San Francisco police.
Leor Bergland, a 30-year-old man, was arrested April 3 around 9:18 p.m. after plainclothes officers found him at a restaurant near Eddy and Larkin streets.
"Bergland was later booked into the San Francisco County Jail on the charges of attempted murder, mayhem, aggravated assault, carrying a concealed dirk or dagger, and brandishing a weapon," stated a news release from the San Francisco Police Department.
The incident happened outside the queer-friendly Church of 8 Wheels, located at 554 Fillmore Street, around 9:30 p.m. March 29. The suspect was wearing a Make America Great Again hat and, prior to the incident, was yelling anti-gay slurs at customers entering the rink. MAGA is a slogan used often by President Donald Trump.
"Tonight, a #MAGA chud targeted a queer friendly roller skating event in San Francisco. We had seen him earlier as we were going in, he called us faggots. He followed us up to the event with a sword, we made it in okay, but he attacked someone outside. Fuck white supremacy," read a tweet from witness Scott Sweeney, 24, who posts on Twitter as Scoot Sweeney.
The victim, a 27-year-old Berkeley resident, got entangled in a verbal altercation with the suspect and preceded to knock off his hat. The suspect then allegedly wielded a 2-foot sword and slashed the man's left hand. The victim and another witness ran after the suspect "until he turned and began advancing toward them," the news release stated.
The victim was transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. He has since been released.
Pictures of the aftermath of the incident began circulating on Twitter and Facebook Friday night showing a MAGA hat near a pool of blood. The night of the assault, police originally reported that the victim was wearing the hat, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, but changed their statement late Saturday.
The straight ally who operates Church of 8 Wheels, David Miles Jr., who helped the victim shortly after he was injured, told the Bay Area Reporter Thursday that he was elated to hear about the arrest.
"I think that's absolutely fantastic," Miles said. "It's a relief actually. A whole lot of people feel safer now."
Miles commended the police for their great job on the investigation.