Evan Sachs, accused of stabbing an 8-year-old at Dave and...

Evan Sachs, accused of stabbing an 8-year-old at Dave and Buster's, leaves Nassau police headquarters to be arraigned in Mineola. (Oct. 8, 2010) Credit: Howard Schnapp

The sudden knife attack on an 8-year-old boy in a Westbury restaurant was not spontaneous, Nassau police said Monday, because the suspect spent weeks "scouting" Long Island malls in search of an unsupervised boy to kill.

On Friday, police say Evan Sachs, a movie theater usher from Merrick, walked into Dave & Buster's arcade section, approached the boy from behind and plunged a knife into his back five times, police said.

Over the last few weeks, police said, Sachs went to at least four malls - Roosevelt Field, Walt Whitman Mall, Green Acres Mall, and Broadway Mall - looking for a boy alone. Sachs also visited the Dave & Buster's in Westbury earlier Friday before returning and carrying out the attack, police said.

"He was looking to find a young boy who had been separated from supervision and a place where he could escape without being arrested," Det. Lt. Ray Cote of Nassau police's Third Squad said.

In a note police say was found in his pocket and statements he made after his arrest, Sachs spelled out his intention to kill a boy and described his recent trips to malls to find a victim.

"He's been scouting locations in the area to find an appropriate place to kill a young boy," said Cote.

A law enforcement source said Sachs told detectives he "didn't like little boys."

Sachs has pleaded not guilty to attempted murder, assault and weapons possession.

Sachs, 23, is under medical supervision at a Nassau County jail, where his attorney said Monday he spoke briefly with his client. "He knows what happened, and he knows he's in jail," said the lawyer, Eric Sachs of Bellmore, who is not related to his client. "His first thought was, 'I hope the little boy is OK.' "

Eric Sachs said his client has been under psychiatric care "for over a year," and takes at least three medications, adding that he is working to confirm details of his client's psychiatric history.

"He's very sad. He's very remorseful and he's very sorry," the defendant's mother, Randi Sachs, told 1010 WINS and CBS Radio. Through their attorney, Sachs' parents said their thoughts were with the boy and his family.

The boy, whom officials have declined to identify, has a punctured lung and remains hospitalized. His father was a few feet away as the boy played Tippin' Bloks, but was momentarily distracted as Sachs approached, police said. The boy's mother was also seated nearby. Detectives are reviewing surveillance video taken at Dave & Buster's.

Sachs was carrying a computer-printed note to "anyone who might encounter him after this incident . . . seeking to explain his actions," Cote said. He declined to discuss the note.

After the attack, Sachs was quickly stopped by employee who held him along with the victim's father until police arrived.

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.

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