A man has been charged after an Italian national was stabbed in the head at a busy park in leafy south London.
He is believed to have been sitting in the park with a friend when a man approached him and demanded his phone before reportedly stabbing him, witnesses said.
The victim was rushed to hospital after sustaining life-threatening injuries in the attack. His condition remains critical.
A friend, who was with the victim in the park at the time, told the Standard: “It was a vicious and shocking attack… now my friend is in intensive care and we are praying he will be ok.”
An air ambulance landed near a packed children’s playground less than 100 yards away and the man was rushed to King’s College Hospital.
Parents said top private schools in the area including Alleyn’s and Dulwich College sent a message warning them not to allow their children to go to the park because of the incident.
Gerry Fletcher, who was in the park with a friend, said: “It’s just horrific. It’s such a lovely, peaceful park and the playground would have packed with children. We just hope the man is going to be ok.”
Jermaine McDonald, 26, was charged with GBH, robbery, attempted robbery and possession of an offensive weapon on Monday.
He is due to appear at Camberwell Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.
Any witnesses or anyone with any information is asked to call police on 101.
Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or contact them online at the crimestoppers-uk.org.