The unprovoked attack occurred around 11:30 a.m. at the Wells Fargo bank at 1298 E. 14th St., said Lt. Robert McManus, a San Leandro police spokesman.
The boy was sitting in a waiting-room chair when he suddenly felt a sharp pain that he described as like being punched in the back, McManus said. The sensation was actually the robber, identified by police as Iyona Hammond, 32, of Oakland, stabbing him at least three times, including in the upper back near his neck.
“I can only imagine what this boy’s going through. The shock, scare. He’s probably frightened right now,” McManus said at a news conference. Hammond robbed a customer making a cash deposit of an undisclosed amount of money after she stabbed the boy, McManus said. He said the child did not know the woman and did nothing to trigger the attack.
“This was a senseless, violent, unprovoked attack,” said McManus, adding that video surveillance showed Hammond attacking the boy from behind.
The robbed customer was not with the boy. The child was waiting on a family member handling business in a back office of the bank, McManus said. About 25 people were in the bank at the time.
Hammond fled from the Wells Fargo branch but was quickly arrested on the street, where police found her with blood on her hands and holding the scissors, officers said. She was charged with attempted murder and robbery. The child was to undergo surgery at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland, where he was in stable condition. He was visiting from out of state, and more family members flew in to join the boy at the hospital.