OAKLAND -- A man with a 20-year criminal history will be prosecuted under three strikes statutes after he was charged Friday with robbing and stabbing a woman June 5 near her downtown home when she wouldn't let him use her cellphone, authorities said.
Punjab Scott, 40, of Oakland, is charged with two counts of assault with a deadly weapon, one count of robbery and one count of attempted robbery.
Besides being accused of the attack on the 27-year-old woman, who was stabbed in her head, back and shoulder, Scott is also charged with assaulting and attempting to rob a 34-year-old friend who was with the woman. Scott did not know the pair, authorities said.
If convicted of the charges, Scott could face a 35-year-to-life prison sentence, authorities said. He has denied the stabbing and robbery allegations, police said. He is being held in lieu of $550,000 bail at Santa Rita Jail.
The violence happened about 9:40 p.m. June 5 in the 1400 block of Martin Luther King Jr., Way, a few blocks from City Hall.
The two women were unloading groceries when a man asked the younger woman to use her cellphone.
When she refused, police said the man grabbed her purse and stabbed her when she resisted. She has since been released from a hospital. Officer Doug Keely said when the other woman tried to help, the man attempted to grab her purse and punched her in the arm. She was not stabbed but did suffer bruising.
The man fled in a van. But witness tips and other evidence led police to identify Scott as a suspect, and a probable cause warrant was issued for his arrest, Keely said.
Scott was arrested Wednesday night by Officers Doug Walker and Roy Flecklin near 16th Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Way.
According to authorities, Scott has three prior felony convictions that resulted in prison terms. One was for evading police in 2006 and two for robbery -- one in 2000 and one in 1992. He also has eight prior misdemeanor convictions, authorities said.