The man accused of stabbing a boy repeatedly with a hunting knife as the child played a video game Friday in a Westbury arcade spent weeks casing Long Island malls looking for a suitable victim, Nassau police said Monday.
"He's been scouting locations in the area to find an appropriate place to kill a young boy," said Det. Lt. Ray Cote of the Third Squad of the suspect, Evan Sachs.
"He was looking to find a young boy who had been separated from supervision and a place where he could escape without being arrested," he said.
Sachs, 23, remains behind bars and under medical supervision after being detained Friday night by an employee of Dave & Busters and the father of the 8-year-old boy who was stabbed. He is charged with attempted murder, assault and weapons possession. At his arraignment on Saturday, Sachs' attorney said he has been under psychiatric care.
The boy was at the Dave & Buster's, an arcade-restaurant on Old Country Road, with his family when Sachs approached from behind, grabbed him by the shoulder, and plunged a knife into the boy's back five times, police said.
The child survived but remains hospitalized. Police said he is expected to recover, although details of his condition were not available.
After the attack, Sachs put a black folding knife into his pocket and walked toward the front door leading to the parking lot, Cote said. But finding the area in confusion, he turned and walked back into the arcade, where an employee stopped him and held him with the help of the victim's father. He was arrested without incident.
Officials said Sachs was carrying a computer-generated note he wrote addressed to "anyone who might encounter him after this incident ... seeking to explain his actions," Cote said. He declined to discuss the contents of the note but said it and later statements Sachs made to police "made it clear his intended victim was a young boy."
Cote said the unidentified boy's father was standing a few feet away from the child as he played a video game but was momentarily distracted as Sachs approached. The boy's mother was also seated nearby. Detectives are currently reviewing surveillance video taken inside Dave & Busters.
Over the last several weeks, police said Sachs visited at least four malls - Roosevelt Field, Walt Whitman Mall, Green Acres Mall, and Broadway Mall - in an attempt to find a young boy to kill.
"This was his first attempt," Cote said. "If he planned to continue this assault plan, I'm not aware of it."
Sachs has no criminal record and no known previous contact with police. He graduated in 2004 from Sanford H. Calhoun High School in Merrick and later from the University at Albany. He works as an usher at the UA Farmingdale 10 movie theater in Farmingdale.