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3 people stabbed in downtown San Francisco; suspect arrested

A San Francisco Police Department officer stands near the cable-car turntable at Powell and Market streets in San Francisco on June 20, 2023. | Source: Isaac Ceja/The Standard

San Francisco police took a man into custody Sunday following a violent early morning episode on Market Street that sent four people to the hospital.

Police said in a statement that officers responded around 7:45 a.m. to a report of an assault at Market and Stockton streets, followed moments later by a reported stabbing less than a block away near Fourth and Market streets.

Officers arrived at the scene and detained a man suspected of stabbing three people and assaulting another. They said the man, whom they did not identify, remained in police custody on unspecified pending charges. 

All four victims were taken to a hospital for treatment. Details on their conditions were not available Sunday afternoon.

On Wednesday, police identified the suspect as Effrim Baker, 60, of San Francisco and said he had been arrested on suspicion of three counts of aggravated assault and attempted homicide, and counts of elder abuse, aggravated assault with a weapon and robbery.

In a follow-up statement Wednesday, police said officers responded to Market near Stockton streets around 7:45 a.m. Sunday for a report of a bleeding person, and found an elderly man in a wheelchair bleeding from his face. Officers provided care before calling paramedics, who took the man to a hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injury. A witness told police that the victim had been traveling in his wheelchair when an unknown man approached and attacked him without provocation. When a second witness tried to intervene, the man fled on foot along Market.

Around 8 a.m., other officers responded to Market and Battery streets for a reported stabbing, and found a man with a stab wound. The man told police someone approached and stabbed him before running away along Market. The victim then fled to a safe place before contacting police, who soon realized the stabbing was the suspect's first of the day.

Minutes later, other officers responded to Market Street near Powell Street for another stabbing report, and found another man suffering from stab wounds. Officers summoned medics, who took the man to a hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injury. Officers later learned that man had been standing on Market when the suspect approached and stabbed him without provocation.

Soon after that, officers with the Tenderloin station responded to Market Street near Turk and Mason streets for a stabbing report. When officers arrived, they found a man walking away and holding a fixed-blade edged weapon. The man, later identified as Baker, was detained.

Officers found their third man with a stab wound, and gave him aid before paramedics took him to a hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injury. Police learned the man had struggled with his property over Baker before the stabbing.

Baker was booked into San Francisco county jail and faced a hearing Wednesday afternoon at the Hall of Justice.

Downtown San Francisco has seen several stabbings in recent months, including an injury stabbing of a 67-year-old man outside a McDonald's on Market Street in August and another incident last month in which a social worker was stabbed at a Tenderloin residential hotel. The latter attack prompted calls for better protections for social workers. Prosecutors charged a man with an anti-LGBTQ hate crime in connection with the alleged stabbing.

This is a developing story.

George Kelly can be reached at