A mother walking with her three-year-old son asleep in a pushchair was stabbed after she refused to hand over her mobile phone.
Christel Stainfield-Bruce, 36, was approached by a teenager in Islington, north London, on Friday afternoon who initially asked her for directions.
He then said “give me your phone” and after she said “no” he stabbed her in the thigh before fleeing empty-handed.
She was told at hospital she was lucky the knife missed a major artery.
The nursery worker said: “It feels so unnecessary.
“There was no gain, he didn’t even get my phone or bag or anything, but it must be a symptom of a wider problem.
“What is the state of the country when young children are causing a big wound to people they don’t know, with people you’ve got no history with? What’s going through the these people’s heads?”
The mother-of-three said she was surprised by how young her attacker – thought to be between 14 and 16 – was.
She said he had stopped her in Caedmon Road at about 16:45 BST on Friday and asked her for directions to the nearby Emirates Stadium, which she gave.
He then demanded her phone and when she refused, he stabbed her in the left thigh and fled in the direction of the Tollington and Holloway Road area.
Ms Stainfield-Bruce’s husband Quinn said his wife “didn’t scream out because she didn’t want to wake our son who was asleep in the pushchair” and tied her jumper around the wound before phoning 999.
Mr Stainfield-Bruce said his wife was “insanely lucky”, adding “she could have been paralysed or died”.
She was taken to hospital where she was discharged early on Saturday and is now recovering at home.
The Met said no arrests had been made.
Officers said the suspect was 5ft 3in tall black male of large build, wearing dark-coloured clothing, including a jacket and trucker-style cap.