A man arrested for the stabbing of an Eritrean baby on Friday night in Tel Aviv was ordered kept in custody for six days so that the state can assess his mental well-being and fitness to stand trial.

The suspect, a Tel Aviv resident in his 50s named Mordechai Zertzky, appeared confused and somewhat agitated in court, and at one point shoved his attorney and was physically removed from the hearing by court security guards.

Zertzky's attorney said his client wants to return to his native Russia to be with family, who can take care of him.

Contrary to police reports, Zertzky's attorney said his client was not drunk at the time of the incident, which he said was caused by his mental illness.

Zertzky allegedly stabbed the baby in the head with a pair of scissors, penetrating its skull, according to an Israeli volunteer who has been assisting the infant's parents at Ichilov Hospital.

The volunteer said that after the man stabbed the baby the mother handed it to her husband and then chased after the man, eventually drawing a crowd that held him until police arrived.

The baby, according to the volunteer, remains in serious condition.

Please LIKE our Facebook page - it makes us stronger