The unprovoked stabbing of a 24-year-old woman riding a J-Church light-rail vehicle has police probing if the same man attacked an 11-year-old boy in September.
The assailant who knifed the woman twice in the torso aboard the outbound Muni train Monday at about 10:40 a.m. was described as a 6-foot tall black man, believed to be between the ages of 25 and 40. He had a full beard, was wearing a black sweater with a black jacket and had a “bad odor” emanating from him, said Sgt. Wilfred Williams of the San Francisco Police Department.
All of those traits match the description of the suspect wanted in the Sept. 1 attack of Hatim Mansori, an 11-year-old boy who was stabbed and seriously wounded while riding alone in the back of a 49-Van Ness/Mission bus.
The unidentified woman was sitting on the train with her friend when the attacker walked by her twice and then stabbed her twice in the torso before fleeing, witnesses said. The man did not speak to the woman before the attack that happened near Church and Market streets, according to police. Mansori did not speak with his attacker before being stabbed either, police said.
Williams said investigators aren’t ready to link the crimes, but they have acknowledged that the similarities in the two suspect descriptions are “very close.”
Mansori’s mother, Laila Elfazouzi, said the description of the man involved in the attack Monday sounded like the same person who attacked her son.
“We just want this to be over because it’s been so long,” she said. “I just want to start over — we are not living normal lives.”
Muni had handed over video of the attack — which sent the woman to San Francisco General Hospital with injuries that were not considered life-threatening — to police for the investigation.
Visual footage was not retrieved during the assault on Mansori because the Muni camera was broken at the time. Since that incident, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which oversees Muni, has made a number of repairs to its security system.
The J-Church stabbing is the latest high-profile crime on the transit system, which has seen an increase in violent incidents as crime falls citywide.
Supervisor Bevan Dufty, who held a hearing last week about crime on Muni, said Monday that he was “obviously disappointed that this crime has taken place on a Muni vehicle.”
San Francisco resident Will Medina, 28, who rides the J-Church about three days a week, said he has had safety concerns with Muni since the Sept. 1 stabbing of Mansori.
“Ever since that little boy was stabbed, I’ve definitely had thoughts about this,” Medina said. “It’s not just me — it’s my friends and family that I’m worried about.”
SFMTA spokesman Judson True said that “crime on Muni is a great concern. We will continue to do everything we can to make people feel safe again on Muni.”
Recent high-profile disturbances that occurred on Muni trains or buses:
Monday: A 24-year-old woman on a J-Church train is stabbed by an unidentified man. The attacker may be the same one involved in a Sept. 1 incident.
Oct. 7: Two women are caught on video by another passenger fighting and screaming at each other on a 20-Columbus bus. The video was posted on the Internet.
Oct. 5: An aspiring actor on a 9-San Bruno bus is beaten by alleged gang members over the color of the man’s shoes.
Sept. 1: Hatim Mansori, an 11-year-old boy riding Muni for the first time, is stabbed by unidentified man on the 49-Van Ness/Mission. Mansori was hospitalized in critical condition.