SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) — A 30-year-old man is facing attempted murder charges for the unprovoked stabbing of a PG&E employee in South San Francisco over the weekend, San Mateo County prosecutors said Tuesday.

Nicanor Castillo Cortez is accused of the attack reported around 9:30 a.m. Saturday in the 900 block of Antoinette Lane, where two PG&E employees were spray-painting to mark gas lines when Cortez walked up to one of them, said “what’s up” and then took out a knife and stabbed him in the neck, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

The stabbing struck the victim’s jugular vein and caused profuse bleeding.

He went with his co-worker to the nearby police station to report the attack and was then taken to Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, where he is recovering from his injuries, prosecutors said.

Cortez allegedly ran from the scene and tossed the knife into a canal, but authorities responded to his home and arrested him there, then recovered the knife from the canal.

According to the District Attorney’s Office, Cortez’s mother said he suffers from mental illness and recently talked about wanting to kill people.

Cortez, who was on parole at the time of the attack, made his initial court appearance Monday but did not enter a plea. He remains in custody on “no bail” status and is set to return to court on June 21, prosecutors said.

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