It Should Have Been A Defensive Gun Use: San Francisco Knife Attack Edition

Ben Schawartz (courtesy

There are three types of criminals: opportunists, professionals and crazies. As anyone who’s been stalked will tell you, the nutcases are the most dangerous of the three. The problem with living in a “gun-free” zone: overlap. Crazies feel free to act opportunistically. “Ben Schwartz, 31, was seriously injured Saturday morning while walking home from a gathering with his girlfriend and another friend,” reports. “Near the intersection of Larkin and Ellis streets at about 4:45 a.m., Schwartz asked a man who had been catcalling his girlfriend to stop. Daniela Saavedra, a friend, said that the group had passed the man twice before and that he had catcalled Schwartz’s girlfriend each time. All he said was, ‘Can you please just stop?’ Saavedra said. ‘The man then sort of trailed behind them, and that’s when he attacked.'” The man stabbed Schwartz . . .

…nine times in the back, face, neck and arms, puncturing a lung, Saavedra said. She said gashes on his arms required about 60 stitches each, while the cuts to his back just missed his spinal cord.

The suspect hopped into a nearby silver sedan and got away. Police are still searching for him.

So the crazy guy had a car, a driver’s license and everything. So he wasn’t completely mad. Just somewhat. I reckon it was a set-up; he purposely antagonized the group to trigger his up-close-and-personal murderous frenzy.

The media is playing up Schwartz’ victim status, harping on about his affability and gallantry, his previous acts of good kindness and the outpouring of public money for his health care.

I’d like to point out that Schwartz should have taken some kind of action against his knife-wielding attacker. Like . . . warn him off. Then draw and fire a gun, when the need arose. You know: shoot the bastard. Instead [via follow-up article] . . .

“When we tried to get away from the situation and cross the street, we were followed and the harassment got even more intense,” Schwartz said. “I was scared for me. I was scared for my girlfriend. I told her to stay on one side of the street, and I went to tell him to stop.” . . .

He said catcalling could use some of the attention given to bullying in recent years.

“In the future,” he said, “I hope that when some guy hollers at some girl, his buddy will pass him and say, that’s not cool.”

Sure. That would have prevented the knife attack. Oh wait. Knife guy didn’t have a buddy nearby. I wonder why that is. Sigh.

Regardless of Schwartz’ feminist-pleasing utterings, we still have a SF psycho on the loose, one who got away with attempted murder. Will he strike again? It’s highly likely. Will an armed citizen neutralize the threat? Probably not in San Francisco, a city that fails to recognize its residents’ natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. I guess they’ll have to rely on a real-life Dirty Harry. How great is that?

[h/t AO]


  1. avatar Rick the Bear says:

    But…but…but…guns are bad and someone could get hurt. A child. A puppy. A goldfish. (Sorry, that last one would be sushi.) Good work San Francisco: your citizens are well protected. 8~(

    1. avatar Carl says:

      Sorry to burst your bubble, but In SF there is no constitutional protection for Goldfish either.

  2. avatar jwm says:

    This fella just wanted to kill somebody. This was probably the first time he’d worked up the nerve to try it. He’ll get better at it til he actually kills and then continue it until caught or killed. I believe they call that a serial killer.

    If I was a serial killer, i’d hunt in San Francisco. Almost no chance of an armed victim fighting back.

    1. avatar Nick D says:

      There’s probably a reason why most movies about serial killers are set in big cities like LA and New York. After all, it would make for a very boring movie if the first scene played out like the end scene in Silence of the Lambs


  3. avatar Another Robert says:

    60 stitches in his arms, punctured lungs, perforated back and face–and the issue is “catcalling”. Even to the guy with the stitches and perforations. Some people and places are just utterly hopeless.

  4. avatar v v ind says:

    FYI this didnt happen, it couldn’t have bc SF is a perfect utopian paradise of peace, love, happiness and acceptance

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      It was obviously a case of ‘female companion inequality justice’.

      The guy knifed had it coming to him. All knife-guy wanted was ‘Female companionship Redistribution’ equality.

      It just wasn’t fair that the guy with the girlfriend had a job, bathed regularly and had a personality that others find pleasant to hang out with.

      That selfish bastard.

      (sarc /off)

      1. avatar Accur81 says:

        +1 for your anti-socialist sarcasm.

      2. avatar C says:

        coming soon to a salon article near you.

  5. avatar Dev says:

    In this case why didn’t he call the police? At that time of morning in a city with people out partying and stuff very few verbal confrontations end peacefully.

    1. avatar JR_in_NC says:

      “When seconds count, the police are minutes away.”

      Wouldn’t have hurt to call the cops, but then again, it may not have helped, either.

      Calling the police is not a magic spell that stops violent assaults from happening.

    2. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

      “In this case why didn’t he call the police? ”

      For what… Catcalls? Walking behind them? I’m sure the cop would have immediately sent up the chopper and depatched every available unit posthaste.

    3. If they were “walking home” then why did they pass this man three times? That is the question no one is asking. They were walking up and down the street at 4am, pass the same guy twice and are not pleased with his behavior, yet they approach him one last time, say something to the guy, then turn their backs. Situational awareness…not!

  6. avatar Piet Padkos says:

    Near the intersection of Larkin and Ellis streets at about 4:45 a.m., Schwartz asked a man who had been catcalling his girlfriend to stop.

    Uh, if I’m cruising anywhere at that time of the night/morning I’d be be doing it in a car, with the windows up and the doors locked, only stopping at well lit places where the people know me, eg: petrol attendants, guys at the convenience store. Then only out of absolute necessity, like 4:00 am Fruit Loop munchies.

    And I’d at least be carrying my trusty fillet knife, because I can’t own a gun yet.

    I wouldn’t start shit with an obvious weirdo whistling at my girlfriend. Is he retarded? You don’t respond and you don’t stop moving.
    Just don’t run, lest you trigger some predatory instinct in the other guy and get home safe.

    I’m ten years his junior and I know this.

    +1 for feminism.
    -9 for your body.
    Great job, bro.

    Are people really this stupid?

    1. avatar crndl says:

      Sad story, but as a former SF resident: Larkin & Ellis at 4:45 am? With your honey? Really? That’s a part of town you’d expect to be around stupid people doing stupid things. Expensive lesson.

      1. avatar neiowa says:

        Dittos. Have not been in that cesspool of “humanity” in 20years but the Tenderloin at 4:45am??? 10pm it defines stupid places for stupid people.

        The guy is criminally braindead. The poster child for Darwin Award wannabe.

        Selfdefense firearm for the lawabiding. In SF? Riiiiight.

        1. avatar NWGlocker says:

          Yep. Bait and switchblade

        2. avatar 16V says:

          You had me at unarmed metrosexual in Tenderloin after dark. I do love how they truly believe that just because it shouldn’t happen, all they have to do is confront the offender, and it somehow, magically, won’t. Because they’ll know it’s wrong.

          One of the things I don’t miss about living in SF. Or actually do miss, because estrogen-filled “men” like this made my recreational life sooooo much easier than even Hank Moody’s.

        3. avatar Sian says:

          Plus everything.

          Everyone who’s lived anywhere near the SF bay for more than a year knows that the dictionary entry for Stupid Things with Stupid People at Stupid Hours includes a picture of the Tenderloin at 4:45 AM.

        4. avatar Robert W. says:

          There’s a reason I wear black pants whenever I go to SF at night, the black oxide finish of my Kershaw blends in really well.

          I don’t go to the city too often, but it is where a bunch of my still single friends have moved to so they can live it up. I am perfectly happy living here in Santa Rosa while they commute 2 hours a day to come back here for work. I’ll get my CCW as soon as Peruta gets wrapped up, until then I just keep my blade clipped on my pocket. I’ll probably never carry a handgun out in SF though, as the only time I go there tends to be to celebrate someone’s birthday or something, so no guns in bars, but my little Kershaw is plenty enough to warn people off (been there, done that at 2am near this same area, flashing steel back at someone gets them to back off in a hurry), and small enough that I can keep it on me, even sneaking it past every pat-down I have been through.

          And my wife wants to know why I push her to keep a knife, and to shoot as much as possible too. I am usually the most imposing person in our group of friends, a group of engineers in the Bay Area usually doesn’t include many people that like to lift big heavy things in their spare time. If I’m not there or get tangled up like this guy, I want her to be able to provide the necessary ventilation as well.

    2. avatar T-DOG says:

      “if I’m cruising anywhere at that time of the night/morning I’d be be doing it in a car”

      Even the crazy guy in this story knew this since he jumped in to his own car when done stabbing the guy.

  7. avatar New Chris says:

    The last time I was in San Francisco there were 5 murders in one week. I had to fight off a female crack head and was approached for sex by another guy while trying to eat my lunch in a park. That same week the police had to protect a store owner who had shot an armed robber to death because of the threat of community retaliation against the store.

    San Francisco is a savage place full of crazy people.

    There is no reason to go there, ever.

    I just can’t feel sad for anything bad that happens to the people there. They got the city they asked for.

    1. avatar Micah says:

      “In the future,” he said, “I hope that when some guy hollers at some girl, his buddy will pass him and say, that’s not cool.” — Coming from a guy who’s been stabbed umpteen times for no reason.

      Yeah. I’m with New Chris. Sorry, San Fran. Not my problem.

    2. avatar 16V says:

      C’mon now. There’s lots of positives about the city and the Bay Area.. Restaurants (all the way to The French Laundry in Yountville), interesting people, excellent sex with smart, attractive women (especially if you’re white and straight), the beaches, the art scene, some amazing roads to drive stupid fast, the car scene, the creativity of the Burning Man crowd, the list goes on.

      The rest may suck more than Matthew McConaughey’s acting, but there’s always a tradeoff, no?

      1. avatar jwm says:

        Lambo’s, Maserati’s, Ferrari’s, rolls, I see these on a regular basis here. Go to the car shows and auctions in Monterey if you want to see machined beuaty. On veterans day my wife and I spent a good number of hours at the Asian Museum.

        And, as an OFWG, you don’t have to tell me about the food. Amazing.

        And I sold my snow shovel when I moved here. Yes we have our problems. What place doesn’t?

        1. avatar 16V says:

          Swords have two edges and all that…

          I’ve always missed the Bay Area for that, and been glad to be gone for the same reason.

  8. avatar Jeremy S says:

    I was glad to stop paying for my hobo stab insurance when I left SF for saner pastures.

  9. avatar former water walker says:

    At least the stabie(word?) could’ve had a pepper blaster or a stun gun. Having no ability to defend themselves doesn’t help. Please stop or I’ll cry. Never been to SF but have hung out in Chicago at 4am. Stupid places/stupid people…

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      If you meant the stabbing victim when you said, “stabie”, I believe the correct spelling would be “stabbee”.

      1. avatar former water walker says:

        Hmmm …when Fat Tony got mad he got”stabee”:-)

        1. avatar Daily Beatings says:

          So does Roberto:

  10. avatar Ralph says:

    At 4:45 in the am, Schwartz should have been home schtupping that pretty girl and not out on the street playing the defenseless metrosexual.

  11. avatar v v ind says:

    What if the perp was cat calling the stab victim….? It is SF after all

  12. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    The victim’s response (both during and after the attack) were typical Progressive, Communist, or whatever other label you prefer: the victim does nothing himself and calls on other people to solve his problem.

    1. avatar JR_in_NC says:

      And still doesn’t learn after all that deferred responsibility failed spectacularly. Yep…fits the definition alright.

  13. avatar Scottlac says:

    I think we need more knife control, If the knife wasn’t present in the confrontation this would have been just a harmless verbal altercation. We need to get the knives off the streets. For the children™.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      After all, they have no purpose except to kill. And, why does anyone need a knife to hunt?

  14. avatar NJ2AZ says:

    i’m not “victim blaming” or anything…. i just wonder how much i reduce my likelihood of bad things happening by virtue of engaging in zero social activities after 10pm…. 1000%? 10,000%?

    every time i read about something like this..or i read about someone getting hit by some idiot drunk driver, its always at some ridiculous time i can’t comprehend being awake at…

    married with kid. i can’t remember the last time i wasn’t in bed by 11 🙂

  15. avatar Fishydude says:

    SF city council will just pad another law banning knives.
    Then when someone uses martial arts training to defend himself they will ban martial arts schools in the city. Then when s martial arts school starts calling itself a dance school they will ban dance schools. . .. ……

  16. avatar John says:

    To show support for all the “Brave Survivors of SanFran. Next year I’m gonna give up my straight razor for lent.

  17. avatar Clay says:

    Why would you confront someone at 4:45AM? Go home fer cry sakes.
    No excuses. The guy was attacked for no good reason. I really hope they get this murderer off the street.
    For safety’s sake, remember nothing good happens after midnight.

    1. avatar 16V says:

      Blah, blah, blah.

      Lots of great things happen after midnight. You are free not to participate, leave the rest of us alone.

  18. avatar Bernard says:–surrender-your-knife#
    They need to follow UK’s example be even MORE progressive.
    “Save a life, surrender your knife.”
    “Don’t be a dick, give up your stick.”
    “Don’t be a cock, turn in your rock.”
    “Rape is wrong, so let’s cut off your schlong”

    1. avatar Piet Padkos says:

      It’s 6am, I’m about to to sleep and you just made me lol.

      Good show, old chap.

    2. avatar Rick the Bear says:


      You win the internet today! That is, as the Brits say, “Brilliant!”

  19. avatar Mediocrates says:

    That’s the exact kind of effeminate response I would expect in San Francisco.

  20. avatar C.Z. says:

    It’s even worse that you realize. In this case the victim could have easily neutralized the perpetrator with one of these,
    But they couldn’t even get this because self defense of all kinds is so heavily regulated.

    I would never tell anyone to break the law but putting my safety or my loved ones safety in the hands of 911’s response time isn’t going to happen

  21. avatar CarlosT says:

    In the future, let’s hope that when some guy is stabbing another guy in the street, his buddy will pass him and say, “that’s not cool.”

    Because peer pressure is totally the solution. Call it the Mean Girls school of crime fighting.

  22. avatar aarrgghh87 says:

    Hey, that’s two blocks away from one of my favorite restaurants! The Tenderloin is so quaint, what with all of the crackheads.

  23. avatar Kirk says:

    Larkin & Ellis at 4:45 a.m?

    This was not a good plan, guys. It’s San Francisco’s Tenderloin district-ish. Crime maps show it is a very likely place to be attacked. It is physically obvious by the character of the neighborhood.

    This was utterly, totally avoidable. And he should’ve shot and killed his assailant.

  24. avatar Aaron says:

    if you are walking down the street at 0445 with your girlfriend, you had better be able to protect her. That’s just stupid, because nothing good happens that time of night. there are only 3 types of people walking down the street at 0445: perps, vics, and cops. actually, change cops to first responders.

  25. avatar John L. says:

    Wait, wait, wait. Something is very odd.

    The guy stabs someone nine times, then jumps in a car and speeds away … And nobody gets a cell phone pic or video of him or the car?

    In San Francisco? Seriously … nobody?

  26. avatar ThomasR says:

    Why do you say the guy was crazy? This type of behavior is typical for the “gangsta” mentality. Catcall an attractive woman while she’s walking with her boy friend, then the boyfriend “disses” the gang banger by telling him to stop. There is only one appropriate and necessary response to this show of disrespect by some “intruder” “slumming” in their hood, Kill him.

    This premise is supported by the fact that immediately after the attack; the stabber jumps into a car probably full of fellow gang bangers and drives away.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Only surprise I see is that he did not take the girlfriend with him.

      1. avatar ThomasR says:

        Yep, to the victor go the spoils, at least in the world of the human predator. oh, wait a minute, also in the world of governments.

        Funny that, governments and common thugs, ( but I repeat myself) operate by the same rules; the law of the jungle and might makes right.

  27. avatar Mark Chamberlain says:

    How do we know Mr. Psycho had “a driver’s license and everything”? I doubt Mr. Psycho is really trippin over any driver licensing laws considering he doesn’t concern himself with the murder/attempted murder/aggravated assault laws. I doubt Mr. Psycho is trippin over gun laws either.

  28. avatar Mercutio says:

    Anyone walking the in the Tenderloin District at anytime, much less 4:45 am, had better be prepared for trouble. Perp was just the first one who got to the vic, not an aberration.

  29. avatar LarryinTX says:

    It surprises me that we never seem to hear of someone in this situation putting a couple little bitty boolits in the mean person with the knife, then walking away while he screams and bleeds. At that point, I would have no need of the police, why would I call them? And I am not vindictive, I would think he has received enough punishment for his indiscretions. If he dies, oh, well. If he doesn’t, oh, well.

  30. avatar GenghisQuan says:

    Of course he doesn’t think to fight back. That would be “blaming the victim” (that is, him and his girlfriend) and inconsistent with his ideal of how such problems would be solved, that is, the creation of a society where such acts are unthinkable. Besides, the perp probably had a rough life, and it’s not fair of him to judge through the lens of his own privilege.

    That kind of mentality is why I will never move to Cali, I think.

  31. avatar Kyle says:

    Saavedra said. ‘The man then sort of trailed behind them, and that’s when he attacked.’”

    Sounds like Schwarz had his back to the guy, which was a BIG mistake, IMO, if the guy was following them. Gun control advocates would say though that the criminal used a knife instead of a gun and as a result, Schwarz wasn’t killed (even though he could have been and could have been paralyzed, and being shot isn’t guaranteed to kill one either, and one has a right to defend themselves against a knife-wielding thug).

  32. avatar LordGopu says:

    I didn’t know anything about the neighborhood until I read the comments but it seemed to me like confronting a douchebag at 4am is a bad idea unless you’re prepared to take what’s probably coming.

    I’m fully supportive of people calling other people out on their bullshit, even if it may provoke a fight (do we not have the right, and perhaps duty, to stand up for ourselves and others?). But that said you need to understand the real world and accept that you might end up in a fight for your life.

    For some people that price is too high for something like catcalling. I’m not saying to do anything illegal.; don’t threaten others, just call them out if you like. But people do this cuz they can get away with it. If everyone called them out on acting like a tough guy, less people would do it.

    The ones who are all bark, would stop and the ones who are all bite would be in jail or six feet under.

    But under no circumstances can you talk back to random crazies out in the world and expect to get away safely every time. That’s unrealistic and that’s why this idiot in the article got stabbed. Typical unrealistic worldview you’d expect from California.

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