Violence at Temple nightclub a rarity for 'Zen' hot spot 

A UC San Francisco medical student was on life support Monday following a fight in a popular South of Market nightclub last weekend.

Fourth-year medical student Joe Hernandez, 30, suffered head trauma during a wild night at Temple in which two fights broke out within 25 minutes, leaving four people injured. On Monday, police said Hernandez was not expected to survive and was “being kept alive to harvest tissue.”

Police were called to the club about 1:20 a.m. Sunday morning after receiving a report of a fight inside. First responders found Hernandez on the floor unconscious. He and another man who suffered injuries not considered life-threatening were transported to San Francisco General Hospital.

Another fight started outside the club around 1:45 a.m. Two men were stabbed multiple times with broken bottles, police spokesman Albie Esparza said. The victims in that altercation were in stable condition Monday.

It was unclear how the fights started or whether they were related. Police are searching for as many as six suspects, all Asian males, in connection with the brawls. At least three of the assailants were in their mid-20s, police said.

There have been no arrests. The incidents were not believed to be gang-related.

Jocelyn Kane, the executive director of the San Francisco Entertainment Commission, cautioned against linking Temple to “problem” nightclubs in The City that have gained media attention during the past year.

“We haven’t had any problems [with Temple],” Kane said Monday. “We haven’t cited them for anything.”

Temple, located at 540 Howard St., is one of the larger clubs in The City, with a maximum capacity of 356 on the first floor and 350 downstairs, Kane said. Both floors were open the night of the stabbing, she said.

The club’s owner, Paul Hemming, opened the venue in 2004 in the building that is dubbed the Zen Compound. Hemming’s goal was to make the club the most environmentally conscious in the world, according to its website.

At UCSF, word spread quickly about the imminent death of one a student.

“The entire UCSF campus is very saddened by this event,” university spokeswoman Lauren Hammit said.

maldax@sfexaminer.com

Bay City News contributed to this report.

You can fight me in the club

Violence at San Francisco nightclubs during the past year.

Feb. 7: Forty-four shots fired in gang-related shooting outside Club Suede at 383 Bay St. near Fisherman’s Wharf; one man killed and four others injured

July 11: Jelly’s on Pier 50 fights eviction notice days after Lee Farley, 39, of Richmond is gunned down outside the venue

Oct. 9: Man suffers life-threatening injuries after being shot inside Cafe Cocomo at 650 Indiana St.

Nov. 1: Former star wrestler is shot multiple times in the chest inside the Gravity Room at 3251 Scott St., the same night the Giants’ won the World Series

Dec. 26: Two people are shot and injured outside Lot 46 at 46 Geary St., located about a block east of Union Square, around 1:53 a.m.

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