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Man not charged in Pride stabbing

by Alex Madison

Man not charged in Pride stabbing

An 18-year-old Hispanic man who was arrested in connection to a stabbing over Pride weekend has not been charged in the incident, according to a spokesman for the San Francisco District Attorney's office.

He is no longer in custody. The case is still under investigation, authorities said.

The man, whom the Bay Area Reporter is not identifying because he was not charged, was arrested Sunday, June 24, on charges of aggravated assault, battery, robbery, and conspiracy, according to Officer Robert Rueca, spokesman for the San Francisco Police Department. He was initially charged by SFPD in one of two separate stabbings that occurred during the same incident on June 24 on Pride festival grounds.

Both victims, men in their early 20s, were hospitalized. One of the victims sustained life-threatening injuries. The other faces non-life-threatening injuries, said SFPD spokesman Officer Michael Andraychak. Police did not respond to a request for comment regarding the victims' health status.

As previously reported by the B.A.R., the two men were stabbed around 5:15 p.m. near Golden Gate Avenue and Hyde Street during the festival. Earlier in the day, around 4:30 p.m., the two victims were near portable toilets on Pride festival grounds, the location of which is unknown. They were approached by a group of six or seven Hispanic men. The men then allegedly stole property from both victims that included a backpack, cellphone, and wallet. The suspects then fled the scene.

About 45 minutes later, the group of men and the two victims ran into one another near the 200 block of Golden Gate Avenue. The victims attempted to get their stolen property back from the suspects and a physical fight ensued that ended in both victims being stabbed.

Police officers nearby, who were on duty for the festival, heard people yelling and approached the scene, at which point a suspect was arrested and taken into custody, Tomlinson said.

One victim, 19, suffered a stab wound to his abdomen and two stab wounds to his leg. The other victim, 20, was stabbed twice in the back, according to the SFPD daily log.

"We don't believe this is gang related, and it is not being looked at as a hate crime," Tomlinson told the B.A.R. at the time.

It is not known if the two victims are members of the LGBT community. Tomlinson could not confirm if either the suspects or victims were festivalgoers or had gone through security, although the scene of the alleged attack was on festival grounds. In order to gain entry into the festival, all attendees were required to go through safety screenings, which included a bag check and a walk through a metal detector or screenings with handheld wands.

San Francisco Pride officials did not respond to a request for comment.

Formal safety screenings were instituted at the SF Pride celebration two years ago following the June 12, 2016 massacre at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, where 49 mostly LGBT people of color died in one of the nation's deadliest mass shootings.

SFPD is asking anyone with information, and anyone who may have cellphone video taken in the area of the hip-hop stage" at Pride on Sunday, June 24, around 5:15 p.m. to contact gang task force investigators by calling the SFPD tip line at (415) 575-4444 or text Tip to TIP411.

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