Recent violent incidents at San Antonio River Walk spark concerns for visitors

70-year-old woman stabbed in a mall bathroom Tuesday morning

SAN ANTONIO – Recent violent incidents at the San Antonio River Walk have sparked concerns as tourists and locals visit during summer vacation.

A 70-year-old woman was stabbed in the bathroom at Shops at Rivercenter on Tuesday, a fight broke out on the River Walk last Friday, and less than a month ago, on June 20, a body was pulled out of the water along the River Walk.

“That’s a shame. It’s just sad, so sad,” said David and Naomi Deasley, who were in town for their son’s U.S. Air Force graduation.

“We were trying to go inside, and they just barricaded the door, and police were outside the door,” said Tim Forse, who’s in town for a coaching convention.

Forse and his wife saw the police presence at the mall Tuesday morning after the stabbing, saying they saw about 20 officers on bicycles.

What we know about Tuesday’s stabbing

Two people, including the 70-year-old woman, were sent to a hospital after being stabbed at the Shops at Rivercenter in the 800 block of E. Commerce. The senior woman is in very critical condition.

Investigators are still determining what led up to the stabbing, but a police spokesperson said a woman in her 30s who got into a fight with the older woman is expected to face charges. Police were unsure about the suspect’s condition after the older woman’s relative ran into the bathroom and stabbed the suspect.

What we know about last week’s fight on the River Walk

On Friday, the San Antonio Police Department responded to the 500 block of River Walk for a report of a fight, according to a preliminary police report.

Upon arrival, authorities broke up the fight and subdued the suspect, a 30-year-old man.

According to the report, the man was upset over the service he received from staff regarding the food and bill when he began to verbally argue with staff.

The report said that the dispute turned physical as the suspect assaulted a 30-year-old man who was a member of the staff, along with other staff members.

The attacker was taken into custody and booked for assault and bodily injury, according to San Antonio police.

Footage shows individuals fighting one another, throwing punches, and even using what appears to be a waitress’ folding tray stand as a weapon.

What we know about the body found last month

A man’s body was pulled from the San Antonio River along the River Walk on June 20, according to police.

Police officers said a passerby discovered the body in the water around 3:15 a.m. in the 100 block of North River Walk, near Commerce and St. Mary’s streets.

Police said the body had no apparent signs of trauma. No other information about the man’s cause of death is available at this time. He has not been identified by police.

Chief McManus weighs in

“The incident at River City Mall -- that’s not something that is very uncommon. The fight on the River Walk, I shake my head at somebody that would start a brawl because he was unhappy with the meal,” said San Antonio Police Chief William McManus.

McManus said he believes there are enough law enforcement officers in the River Walk area at this time. He said they increased the number of park police in the area several months ago.

Tourists not deterred from coming back

The people KSAT spoke with said they were concerned, but the incidents would not stop them from returning to the River Walk.

“I’m trying to stay out of large crowds knowing that stuff like that happens, especially since this morning,” said Tim Forse.

“Come on down to San Antonio, keep the faith, keep the peace, keep the love,” said the Deasleys.


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About the Authors

John Paul Barajas is a reporter at KSAT 12. Previously, he worked at KRGV 5 in the Rio Grande Valley. He has a degree from the University of Houston. In his free time, he likes to get a workout in, spend time on the water and check out good eats and drinks.

Joe Arredondo is a photojournalist at KSAT 12.

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