A month after a stabbing incident inside a preferred bakery in San Francisco’s Chinatown, the suspect’s protection legal professional has spoken out about her consumer’s medical and psychological well being historical past, trying to refute characterizations of the assault as a focused crime.
On Might 29, Fook Poy Lai, 61, was arrested for allegedly stabbing a feminine staffer contained in the AA Bakery, inflicting the sufferer to maintain extreme knife wounds to her head, neck and again.
Courtroom data and information stories from earlier years present that Lai has an extended historical past of violence linked to the bakery, together with two assaults in opposition to the proprietor’s father in 2007 and 2016.
Nonetheless, Diamond Ward, the legal professional from the Public Defender’s Workplace who’s representing Lai, stated her consumer is a psychiatric affected person with critical psychological well being points.
“Mr. Lai was unaware of his actions on the day of the incident,” Ward instructed a bunch of reporters exterior a courtroom Tuesday morning. “He is recognized with schizophrenia. He is been out and in of the Division of State Hospitals for over a decade.”
Ward additionally criticized what she noticed as a media narrative itemizing the historical past of violence between Lai and the bakery, which indicated that the assault was primarily based on long-time hatred.
“That’s completely false,” she stated. “I intend to show that because the case strikes ahead.”
In accordance with Ward, Lai was launched from jail in December 2022 on parole and transferred to a state hospital, however the felony justice system failed him by offering no assist, care or different sources by merely placing him in a midway residence after the hospital discharge. Lai had been serving a nine-year jail sentence for the 2016 assault.
The District Lawyer’s Workplace has charged Lai with tried homicide, assault with lethal a weapon and different felonies. The workplace can be asking the court docket to revoke Lai’s parole in a separate case.
The subsequent court docket date is Thursday.
The sufferer, a 60-year-old Chinese language immigrant, was despatched to hospital with life-threatening accidents after the assault.
A number of neighborhood teams and activists, together with Neighborhood Youth Heart and Jade Wu from Assemblymember Phil Ting’s workplace, have been offering her with assist.
In accordance with Wu, the sufferer, nicknamed “Ah Fen,” is recovering at residence in San Francisco and present process bodily remedy to regain mobility.