A man with a long history of psychological problems expected to be shot and killed by police when he stabbed a young boy five times in the back at a restaurant video arcade, the man's attorney and mother said Wednesday.
Evan Sachs, 23, pleaded guilty to attempted murder and assault in a Long Island courtroom, admitting he plunged a 4-inch hunting knife five times into the boy's back at a Dave & Buster's restaurant in Westbury last October.
The boy, who is now 9, survived the attack.
"I am very sorry. I would give anything to undo what I did," Sachs told Nassau County Court Judge Jerald Carter. The judge said he would sentence Sachs to 14 years in prison on Sept. 8.
Police said Sachs had been stalking potential young victims at Long Island shopping malls for weeks before the stabbing. He was arrested moments after injuring the boy, who was playing video games at the time.
The boy's parents were only several feet away, but Sachs apparently waited until they were momentarily distracted to begin assaulting him, police said. The boy's parents and a group of about a dozen supporters declined to speak with reporters after the court proceeding.
"Physically, he's recovering," Assistant District Attorney Mitchell Benson said of the victim, who suffered a partially-collapsed lung. A spokesman for the prosecutor said the boy's identity was not released "due to his age and his status as a crime victim."
Sachs, who worked as a movie theater usher, has been treated for psychological problems since he was 4, defense attorney Michael Soshnick said. "He is severely and chronically mentally ill," the lawyer said, although he said there was some disagreement among medical experts over whether Sachs was schizophrenic or was suffering from a bi-polar disorder.
The attorney said despite his client's medical history, he was unable to argue for an insanity defense.
"He did know what he was doing and he did know what he was doing was wrong," Soshnick said. "Therefore the insanity defense was not available to him."
Before the court proceeding, Randi Sachs told reporters that her son never expected to survive after stabbing the young boy, suggesting he wanted to commit suicide by having police officers shoot him.
"My son was terribly unhappy and thought this was the only way to solve his problems," Randi Sachs said. "He expected to be killed in a hail of bullets. He didn't resist arrest, he didn't care about himself."
Soshnick agreed. "I don't think Evan ever expected that he would be able to walk into a crowded public establishment, single out a child for death, stab that child repeatedly and not get killed.
"I don't think he ever imagined that he'd be standing in a court and be pleading guilty to attempted murder in the second degree. Evan honestly thought that this would end his life."