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Parents of Teen Stabbed at South Bay Galleria Say the Mall Was Obligated to Protect Their Son

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The parents of a 13-year-old boy who, along with an unrelated 13-year-old-girl, was stabbed at the South Bay Galleria in December have filed a lawsuit against the mall, claiming the shopping center had an obligation to protect their child.

The teens were victims of a random attack by an unknown assailant wielding a kitchen knife who slashed them while they were outside the AMC Theatres on the mall's third level about 7:25 p.m. on December 29.

As a result of the attack, the boy suffered stab wounds to his chest and heart as well as to one lung and arm, according to the lawsuit, reports City News Service. The victim has only been identified as Ricky W., and the suit was filed by his parents, Richard and Maria Williams.

The negligence and premises liability suit also names the parent company and security provider of the Redondo Beach mall, and states the mall's owners were expected to keep the youngster safe, as well as warn him of any potential dangers. The mall's website states that customer safety and convenience is the company's "number one priority" and that it provides patrons with 24-hour protection.The suspect in the attack remains at large. He is described as a tall black male in his 40s, with a medium build. He had a graying beard and a mustache and he may have been wearing prescription glasses. The attacker was seen wearing a knit cap, a green/brown "fatigue-type jacket" that was not camouflaged, blue jeans and a black T-shirt.

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A $25,000 reward has been put up to help encourage anyone with information about the assailant to contact authorities.