A mother walking with her three-year-old son in a pushchair has been stabbed in the leg in a bungled robbery.
Christel Stainfield-Bruce, 36, fears she may have been targeted in a gang initiation by the attacker, who was aged between 14 and 16.
He stopped her in Caedmon Road, Islington, north London, just before 5pm on Friday to ask for directions to the Emirates Stadium, and then demanded her phone.
When she refused to hand it over, he knifed her in the leg.
She told the Camden New Journal: “It was really shocking to see. It’s scary. It’s disbelief. At what point do you think, when you’re walking down the street, that you’re at risk of being stabbed in broad daylight?
“There was no history with this person. I was just a random target. It almost felt like target practice.”
Mrs Stainfield-Bruce stifled her voice to avoid waking her sleeping son and stemmed the blood with her jumper before calling an ambulance.
Her husband, Quinn, told the Evening Standard: “If mothers with their children are being stabbed in broad daylight, then what the hell is going on?
“This is crisis point for me, it can’t get much worse than this.
“She turned away and he didn’t even take anything, he didn’t take her phone or her purse but just stabbed her in the back of her left thigh.”
Detective Sergeant Adrian Brown, from the Metropolitan Police, said her injuries could have been “far worse”.
“This woman had her child with her and was kind enough to stop and help a young man with directions.
“Terribly, this request turned out to be a ruse and the male suspect demanded the woman’s phone. She refused and was stabbed in the leg.
“By pure chance the injury inflicted did not cause any lasting damage. It could easily have been far worse. We need to catch this dangerous male.”
Officers are carrying out door-to-door inquiries and viewing CCTV footage, and have asked for witnesses to come forward.
The suspect is described as black, about 5ft 3in, and was wearing dark clothes including a jacket and trucker-style cap at the time of the attack.
Mr Brown added: “Did you see him hanging around the area? Perhaps you noticed him making off? Equally, if you have information about who could have been involved, please call the police.
“He did not hesitate to use a weapon against a mother with a child. We need to find him and bring him in for questioning.”
Extra police patrols are in place in the area.
Anyone with information can call the West Area Command on 101 quoting CAD6063/07JUN, tweet @MetCC or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.