Sarasota County sheriff’s officials say a 13-year-old faces an attempted first-degree murder charge after an apparent random act of violence.
The Venice Middle School student was arrested Wednesday following an attack on a jogger along a wooded area in Englewood on Tuesday evening.
Michael Baskind, 54, told deputies the teen began following him, then grabbed him by the left shoulder and slashed his neck with a sharp object. It took 14 stitches to close the wound.
“If I had not spun at that instant, he would have brought that knife across the front of my throat and my carotid artery,” Baskind said told The Sarasota Herald-Tribune. “I’m certain he meant to kill me.”
As Baskind dropped to the ground, the teen dropped the knife and ran.
Baskind told deputies he recognized the boy from his neighborhood.
Deputies were able to trace a phone call the teen made to his home and they apprehended him after a short foot chase. Detectives said the boy appeared “dirty, disheveled, and covered in insect bites” as if he’d spend the night in the woods.
He was placed in the custody of the Department of Juvenile Justice at the Sarasota County Jail. He was expected to appear in court on Thursday.
According to the sheriff’s report, family members said the teen had left home after an argument on Tuesday. He apparently returned home to change clothes, but stayed out the rest of the night.
Detectives called the attack “premeditated” but didn’t suggest a motive.
Baskind told the newspaper he had never spoken to the teen or his family and couldn’t think of anything he had done to provoke the boy.
“It’s the last thing you ever expect to happen out for a run,” said Baskind, who was back at work but still shaken on Wednesday. “I know I’m lucky to be alive.”