Dolores Park stabbing seen as uncommon 

The brutal stabbing that left a man nearly dead in Dolores Park last weekend was an anomaly, police said.

In recent years, the popular 14-acre park that serves as a public backyard for thousands of city dwellers has seen plenty of illegal activity, but incidents such as Saturday’s attack are rare, said Lt. David Smith of the Mission Police Station.

That violence broke out at 1:30 a.m. when a 40-year-old man walking near the 19th Street pedestrian bridge was beaten, robbed and repeatedly stabbed by a group of attackers, police said. The man was transported to San Francisco General Hospital with life-threatening injuries but remains alive, spokeswoman Rachael Kagan said.

Immediately after the attack, police surrounded the park and captured seven people fleeing. Three suspects — ages 17, 18 and 20 — were arrested on charges of attempted murder and robbery. Police are searching for three others.

Nothing this violent has happened at Dolores Park in at least three years, police Officer Samson Chan said.

Smith said there’s no evidence of a trend.

“Obviously, the degree of the violence is pretty shocking,” Smith said. “Quite frankly, I don’t think there’s a high probability that something like that is going to happen again.”

Smith said police are proactive about their patrols in the vicinity, especially after the park officially closes at 10 p.m. But he said policing the park is sometimes a subtle business because the community doesn’t want every technical violation — every bottle of wine imbibed or joint smoked — enforced.

“We tell the officers to use their discretion [about enforcement] with a park like that,” he said. “[Neighbors] want the park to have its groove but not have the things that happened Friday there.”

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Katie Worth

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