Three-year-old Emmanuel Veloz was playing with his siblings in his apartment complex common area on Tuesday, when a neighbor walked up behind him and stabbed the boy in the neck. The attack was seemingly random, officials say.
The victim's mother rushed over and told the suspect not to remove the knife from the child's neck, for fear he might bleed to death.
Neighbor Lydia Hernandez said, "When I came out of my apartment, I heard the mother screaming. The mother was so hysterical because the mother tried to fight him off. She kept telling him please leave the little boy alone."
EMS crews and police were called to the scene, and the suspect was arrested.
Jose Guillermo Molina, 21, is charged with injury to a child. He is being held without bond. Neighbors say Molina has a history of mental health issues.
Emmanuel has been released from the hospital and is recovering at home.