WESTBURY, N.Y. (1010 WINS/CBS 2/AP) — Police say a man accused of repeatedly stabbing an 8-year-old at a family friendly Long Island restaurant had been hunting for a child to kill for weeks.

“His intent was to kill a child,” Nassau County Police Sgt. Vincent Garcia said.

Police also said Evan Sachs, of Merrick, had been casing out public places for weeks to attack a young boy.

LISTEN: 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera reports

Detective Lt. Raymond Cote said Sachs “canvased area malls throughout the Long Island area” looking for someone to attack.

“He was able to identify one young boy that appeared to have been momentarily separated from his parents. And when that time came, he acted on his impulse. He grabbed the young boy by the shoulder and repeatedly stabbed him in the back,” Cote said.

Sachs’ mother, Randi, told 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera and CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan that her son had been under treatment for psychiatric issues and was apologetic for what had happened.

“He’s very sad. He’s very remorseful and he’s very sorry,” Randi Sachs said.

Sachs is due back in court Wednesday to face attempted murder charges.

Police say Sachs crept up behind the boy, who was playing a video game Friday at the Dave & Buster’s in Westbury, and plunged the 4-inch blade of a hunting knife into his back five times.

As the suspect tried to flee, the boy’s father grabbed Sachs. The young victim was rushed to Winthrop University Hospital with a punctured lung and non life-threatening injuries. The victim is expected to survive.

The suspect may be locked up, but some parents that spoke with CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez were still hesitant to bring their children to Dave and Buster’s after hearing about the random attack.

“If I would have heard about this last week, I wouldn’t be here. I would have gone somewhere else,” Omar Nelson said.

“A crazy guy off meds, I would not want that around my nephew,” Arnold Caballero said.

Other parents said they would use the incident as a reminder to keep their children close.

“I just think you have to watch your kids wherever you go. Anything can happen anywhere,” Stephanie Persichilli of Syosset said.

“We have to enjoy ourselves. We have to still go out of the house. We can’t have them live in a world that we think that we can’t do anything and we have to be scared all the time,” Marie Scoleri of Franklin Square said.

Sachs’ attorney, Charles Rosenblum, told reporters his client has been under psychiatric care and recently had medications changed. The lawyer did not return a call on Monday.

Sachs’ mother said Monday she and her family were grieving over the incident.

“We’re just grateful that the boy was not hurt worse than he was,” Randi Sachs said.

Sachs was being held without bail.

(TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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