SF DA says Tenderloin stabbing was alleged anti-LGBTQ hate crime

  • by John Ferrannini, Assistant Editor
  • Thursday September 21, 2023
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The San Francisco District Attorney's office has charged a man with an anti-LGBTQ hate crime after he allegedly stabbed another man in the Tenderloin.
The San Francisco District Attorney's office has charged a man with an anti-LGBTQ hate crime after he allegedly stabbed another man in the Tenderloin.

A stabbing inside a permanent supportive housing building in the Tenderloin that left a man seriously injured was an anti-LGBTQ hate crime, San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins stated in a news release Thursday.

Oscar Chatman, 27, of San Francisco, pleaded not guilty to all charges at his arraignment September 20, the release stated. These included willful, deliberate, and premeditated attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon that's not a firearm, vandalism of more than $400, second-degree burglary, and making criminal threats with special allegations that these were anti-LGBTQ hate crimes.

At a court date September 27, a preliminary hearing date was set for November 1 in Department 20 at the San Francisco Hall of Justice, 850 Bryant Street. Chatman will remain in custody without bail until the DA's motion to detain can be heard at that time.

"The alleged attack in a Tenderloin permanent supportive housing building left a man seriously injured and a neighborhood shocked," Jenkins stated. "I offer my unwavering commitment to pursuing justice and ensuring that the suspect is held accountable for this senseless crime. Residents and staff at Supportive Housing sites, like all city residents, need to be safe where they live and work."

Chatman was arrested on September 13 after fleeing the scene, according to San Francisco police.

At 11:07 a.m. that morning, officers "responded to the 200 block of Eddy Street on a report of a stabbing in progress. When officers arrived on scene, multiple witnesses told them the suspect had fled the scene and directed officers to the suspect's location," the release stated.

"Officers were able to quickly locate and apprehend the suspect, while seizing a knife allegedly used in the incident," the release continued. "Meanwhile, other officers responded to the location of the incident and rendered aid to the victim, who was suffering from several apparent stab wounds. San Francisco Fire Department paramedics responded to the scene, treating the victim for non-life-threatening injuries, and transported the victim to a local hospital for further treatment."

An initial announcement from Jenkins' office stated that Chatman was charged with a hate crime but was not specific about which aspect of the victim's real or perceived identity this was based on. The victim in this case was perceived to be gay, a spokesperson told the B.A.R., but the office won't say what their sexual orientation or gender identity is.

"The case was charged with an allegation that these were hate crimes due to additional investigation that revealed evidence pointing to this being an attack based on the victim's identity," DA spokesperson Randy Quezada told the B.A.R.

A subsequent release from Jenkins' office specified the incident was an alleged anti-LGBTQ hate crime.

The San Francisco Public Defender's office confirmed September 21 that it is representing Chatman.

"We believe it is premature for the District Attorney's office to publicize assumptions about this incident," stated Deputy Public Defender Alex Lilien, who requested that Chapman be evaluated for mental health issues. "We ask the public to reserve judgment as it is very early in the case. We will be evaluating all the information provided by the prosecution, forthcoming reports by medical professionals, and anything else we learn through our own investigation."

Although charges have been filed, this remains an active investigation, according to the DA's office. Anyone with information is asked to call the San Francisco Police Department Tip Line at 1-415-575-4444 or text a tip to TIP411 and begin the text message with SFPD. Tipsters may remain anonymous.

The State of California offers help for victims or witnesses to a hate crime or hate incident. This resource is supported in whole or in part by funding provided by the State of California, administered by the California State Library in partnership with the California Department of Social Services and the California Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American Affairs as part of the Stop the Hate program. To report a hate incident or hate crime and get support, go to CA vs Hate.

Updated, 9/21/23: This article has been updated with comments from the SF Public Defender's Office, which is representing the suspect.

Updated 9/22/23: This article has been updated with comments from the DA's office.

Updated, 9/27/23: This article has been updated with what happened in court.

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