Amsterdam elderly fixture stabbed in De Pijp

Amsterdam police
A police flex squad supporting crowd control in Amsterdam. Feb. 18, 2010Jos van ZettenFlickrCC-BY

A well-respected 96-year-old resident of the De Pijp district in Amsterdam was beaten and stabbed several times in the stomach Thursday evening on the Govert Flinckstraat, police said. The assailant, a 24-year-old man from Arnhem, still had the knife with him when he confessed to a mobile police unit less than an hour later on Dam Square.

The victim, known in the neighborhood as Oma Toni, was pushing a walker down the sidewalk when the man attacked her at about 6 p.m. She managed to flee the attacker, and get back to her home where she was able to contact emergency services. She was conscious when first responders arrived, even letting them in her home.

She underwent a two-hour surgery for seven perforations in her intestines, her granddaughter, Trouw journalist Nienke Schipper wrote. She was still in intensive care Friday afternoon.

When Schipper's family got the call that her grandmother was in the hospital, she was stunned to hear it was due to a stabbing. "When it became clear what had happened to Oma Toni, anger quickly replaced the initial shock and grief," she stated.

The suspect came to Amsterdam specifically to stab someone, in order to punish his father, the suspect's lawyer, Bob Meijer, told RTL Nieuws. "He says he has a logical explanation," Meijer said.

Oma Toni has lived in De Pijp for over 80 years, even living in the same house she stayed in during World War II, Schipper told AD. She will definitely want to return to De Pijp as soon as she can.

"Look, if you're 96, you know that 'the end' will come sometime. But it cannot and should not simply end like this," she told the newspaper.

It is not known how quickly or how well Toni will handle the recovery. "If it only depended on her perseverance, she'll be grocery shopping by herself in a couple of weeks," Schipper wrote.