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Person of interest in 2 stabbings in Philadelphia's Center City in custody: police

Person of interest in 2 stabbings in Philadelphia's Center City taken in custody by police
Person of interest in 2 stabbings in Philadelphia's Center City taken in custody by police 02:22

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- A person of interest accused of stabbing a one-year-old and a woman in separate incidents in Center City Saturday was taken into custody.

Philadelphia Police Captain Frank Banford gave updates saying both incidents are completely random and the person of interest has an active warrant in New York for aggravated assault.

"Somewhat of an oddity," he said.

The first stabbing happened a little before 8 a.m. on the 1300 block of Chancellor Street. Banford said a 24-year-old woman was walking east on the 1300 block when a woman rushed up and stabbed her in the chest and the hand. Banford described the incident he saw on video as a quick stab and run.

"The female just took off," he said. "I think it's a 29-year-old woman."

The woman who was stabbed is out of the hospital and home recovering. 

Officers were immediately put on a patrol alert.

The second stabbing happened on the 300 block of South 18th around 12:45 p.m. near a synagogue and officials said a one-year-old was stabbed in both arms. Banford mentioned two parents were walking the stroller down the street with two twins when it "looks like this female just rushed up to them, nothing was said, and tried to stab both children but got one child."

The child was taken to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia by medics and was last listed in stable condition.

Banford also mentioned a blue bag was used in the first stabbing and they noticed in the second video there was a black bag. Inside the bag was a coat used in the first stabbing he said.

"When the husband chased the person of interest after the child was stabbed the offender dropped the [black] bag. Inside the bag, we recovered some information that is leading us to a suspect," Banford said. "Now, she's wearing some kind of velour. Similar looking."

Philadelphia police give updates on 1-year-old stabbed near a synagogue Center City 06:45

A spokesperson with Temple Beth Zion Beth Israel released a statement to CBS Philadelphia later Saturday stating no one in the incident is related, connected, or involved with the synagogue and they are working with Philadelphia police, FBI, the Federation Security team and the Secure Community Network. 

They also mentioned the individual was experiencing a mental health crisis and they are known to police.

Here is the full statement:

"At approximately 11:58 today an incident occurred outside Temple Beth Zion-Beth Israel. None of the individuals were related or connected or involved with the Synagogue in any way. We have been working closely with the Philadelphia police department, the FBI, the Federation Security team and the Secure Community Network. We have been assured that this incident was not in any way related to antisemitism but was rather an individual, known to police, who was experiencing a mental health crisis. There was an earlier linked incident several blocks away which the police are also investigating.

I am proud of the BZBI staff and security team who followed appropriate protocols and procedures needed to not only ensure the safety and well-being of our congregants and children attending Religious School but also to provide medical aid to the family while they waited for an ambulance to arrive.

While this is an ongoing investigation, all reports seem to indicate that this is not an antisemitic attack, but unfortunately part of the tragic increase in crime that we have been seeing in the city. 

We pray for the family and hope for their child's quick recovery." 

When asked what was used for in stabbings, Banford said it was a long knife and it looked like some kitchen knife.

The arrest warrant in New York was signed two days ago and officials said the suspect in New York has priors of aggravated assault. New York is also willing to extradite the person of interest.

They are not sure if it's the same kind of assault in Philly. At this time, the incidents in New York and Philly aren't connected.

Banford said there is no threat to the public but to "Just be careful and keep your eyes out."

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