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1-year-old boy and 24-year-old woman stabbed in Philly by the same attacker, police say

Diane Mastrull, The Philadelphia Inquirer on

Published in News & Features

PHILADELPHIA — A 1-year-old boy was stabbed near Rittenhouse Square while being pushed with his twin in a stroller by his parents Saturday afternoon, less than five hours after a woman was stabbed about five blocks away in what police believe are attacks by the same person.

Philadelphia police are seeking a 29-year-old woman who has a prior arrest for aggravated assault and is wanted in New York in connection with an aggravated assault, Cpt. Frank Banford from Central Detectives said during a news conference Saturday night.

“We need the public’s help,” he said.“We’d like to speak to this individual and confirm that she’s possibly involved.”

The first of what Banford described as two “completely random” attacks occurred at 7:57 a.m. on the 1300 block of Chancellor Street, just off Locust Street, when a 24-year-old woman walking east was stabbed in the chest and hand by a woman who then fled carrying a blue bag, Banford said.

As police were on alert for that person, the 1-year-old boy was stabbed in both arms outside 300 South 18th Street, just off Spruce, around 12:45 p.m. as his parents pushed the stroller he was in with a twin, Banford said.

“It looked like the female just rushed up to them, nothing was said,” Banford recalled from security video, saying the woman tried to stab both children, but managed to injure only one of them.

The children’s father chased the attacker, who dropped a black bag. Inside that bag was the coat the attacker in the first incident appeared to be wearing in videos and information leading to her, Banford said.


That child was taken to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, where he was listed in stable condition, police said. The woman in the first attack was reported in stable condition at Jefferson University Hospital.

Banford described the weapon used in both attacks as “a long knife. It looks like some kind of a kitchen knife.”

The second stabbing took place near Temple Beth Zion-Beth Israel but did not involve anyone connected to the synagogue, its executive director, Lynne Balaban, wrote in an email to congregants Saturday.

“We have been assured that this incident was not in any way related to anti-Semitism, ...” Balaban wrote, saying the synagogue had been working closely with the Philadelphia Police Department, the FBI and other security agencies.

Synagogue staff and its security team ensured the safety and well-being of congregants and children attending religious school and also provided medical aid to the family while they waited for an ambulance to arrive, Balaban said.

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