Patrick Thompson arrested in April 2020 with a drug pipe — and an axe

A year before stabbing two women, Thompson told police he wanted to "kill everything that stands"

On May 4, 2021, San Francisco police officers responded to a report of two women stabbed at 4th and Stockton streets just before 5 p.m. The victims, a 63 and an 84 year old, were suffering from multiple stab wounds. Both were transported to the hospital, the 84-year-old with life-threatening injuries. Meanwhile, police were alerted to a photo taken by a witness, and they instantly recognized the man from prior incidents. Just two hours later they arrested the suspect — 54-year-old Patrick Thompson — in the 600 block of Eddy Street. He was booked on two charges of attempted murder and elder abuse. Both women were Asian, but San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin said there was no evidence the crime was hate driven, though the case was “still under investigation.”

Later that evening, I received a photo anonymously. “This is an X-ray of the knife still in the 84-year-old,” the message read. “He was so aggressive the handle broke off and it punctured her lung.”

A review of Thompson’s record revealed he had been charged with three separate cases in 2017: misdemeanor contempt of court order, felony assault with a deadly weapon other than a firearm and battery, and felony battery with serious bodily injury. In November of 2017, a judge declared Thompson incompetent, and in February 2018 he was transferred to Napa State Hospital for the mentally ill.

A judge granted Thompson’s release from custody in October of 2018 on the condition he be placed on electronic monitoring. In January 2019, he was accepted into San Francisco’s Mental Health Diversion program was, which the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office said he “successfully completed” in August 2020. They filed a motion for a judge to dismiss Thompson’s case. Deputy Public Defender Sylvia Nguyen wrote that Thompson was able to live “independently and responsibly” while he was enrolled in the diversion program, and that he “gained insight into his mental illness and has learned how to maintain medication compliance on his own.”

On August 31, 2020 during a brief hearing, Judge Charles Crompton turned to Assistant District Attorney Kimberly Lutes-Koths: “And the People have investigated whether or not any restitution is being claimed. I'm told that there's none being claimed and so no opposition to the dismissal.”

“Correct,” Lutes-Koths replied.

“Very well. In that case I'll grant the motion to dismiss,” Crompton said. “These matters are dismissed.”

After the May 2021 stabbings, Boudin put out a press release stating, “There have been some questions about Mr. Thompson’s background.” He ticked off the 2017 arrests but didn’t go into detail. In fact, one of the incidents was incredibly violent. ABC7 News reporter and anchor Dion Lim interviewed crossing guard Benjamin Gonzalez, who previously worked security at a homeless shelter along 5th and Bryant streets. Gonzalez described to Lim how a man was resting on his bed when Thompson, unprovoked, came up and stabbed him in the chest with a pair of scissors. “The look on his face was unbelievable … so calm and very violent and he tried to push him out the window....he was halfway out the window,” Gonzalez recalled.

In his press release, Boudin also mentioned that Thompson’s last arrest prior to the stabbings was in April of 2020 “when a judge issued an arrest warrant for missing court and, when he was arrested on that warrant, he was in possession of a drug pipe.” But it turns out, there’s more to the story.

A DRUG PIPE AND AN AXE

According to a police incident report obtained by Gotham by the Bay, on Tuesday, April 14, 2020 at 4:28 a.m., two uniformed officers, one male and one female, were entering a marked patrol SUV parked in an alley off of Eddy Street after completing a call for service. “I heard a male voice yell something unintelligible; I looked up and saw a large male walking toward me at a brisk pace,” the female officer wrote. “I was momentarily blinded by a security light on the building and then saw the male closing the distance between us while holding a large axe in his right hand.”

She drew her gun, ordering the man to stop walking and drop the axe; he slowed but initially did not comply. The male officer drew his gun and ordered the suspect to drop the axe, upon which he did. The officers then ordered the man to move away from the axe but he refused, shouting, “Shoot me, you motherfucker!"

Two additional officers arrived on scene, one carrying an extended range impact weapon, or ERIW, that shoots bean bag rounds. The officer racked the ERIW and the noise startled the suspect, at which point he put his hands on his head. As another officer seized the axe from the sidewalk the suspect turned to him and said, "If it was up to me, I'd kill everything that stands.” He then disclosed he was “a mental patient.”

A computer check revealed the suspect, Patrick Thompson, had three active warrants out of San Francisco. During a transportation search, officers located a multi-tool and a glass pipe used for smoking drugs such as methamphetamine in Thompson’s backpack. “Because of possession of an axe while approaching uniformed police officers, his self-disclosed mental health history, and his statements, I deemed him to be a danger to others per 5150,” the officer wrote in the report. Thompson was placed under arrest and transported to San Francisco General Hospital. He was later booked at County Jail.

Back at Tenderloin Station, the sergeant booked the glass pipe, Property Receipt Form, Mental Health Detention Form, multi-tool, and axe. He electronically attached a copy of the forms and booking card to his report, and uploaded video footage of the incident to evidence.com.

Reached by phone, one of the officers on scene that morning said, “10 years ago we would have booked this guy on 148 — felony threats. Now we think, ‘Will the district attorney and the public defender even try this guy?’” The event still haunts the officers involved. “The only reason Thompson didn’t hit me with the axe is there were others with me,” one said. “These guys saved my life.”

Patrick a Thompson wasn’t just caught with a meth pipe in April 2020, he was caught with a meth pipe and an axe, which he used to threaten police. He also made it clear that, if he had his way, he would “kill everything that stands.” The fact someone with such a violent history “successfully completed” mental health diversion shows how broken the justice system is. The fact the district attorney didn’t object to the public defender’s motion to dismiss shows how broken the justice system is in San Francisco.