Two West Midlands schoolchildren have been beaten by a man with a metal bar in a "random and brutal attack", police said.
Callum Leonard, 14, and Jessica Wilde, 13, were assaulted on a pathway close to Hobart Road and Wallbrook Primary School playing fields in Tipton.
Police said the young man attacked the teenagers without provocation at about 17:40 GMT on Tuesday 20 November.
The children sustained head injuries and required hospital treatment.
'Dent in head'
Callum's mother Claire Leonard, from Tipton, said the children managed to run away from their attacker.
She said: "They had run for about 15 minutes before they stopped to ring anyone, they were that frightened.
"Callum's head was bleeding, and he'd got a 5cm cut on the front of his head, and a 4cm cut just above his ear, and the blow has actually left a dent in his head.
"The man who attacked them never said anything to them, and although they were on their phones, he didn't seem interested in going after what they were carrying."
Jessica's mother Claire Wilde, of Coseley, called Callum her "little hero" after he had helped her daughter escape.
"She's got a 7cm cut on her head and grazes all over her scalp," said Mrs Wilde.
"Before she would go out to friends' houses after school but now she's too scared.
"They are both very lucky considering what could have happened. I cannot understand why anyone would do it."
The two friends were treated at Wolverhampton's New Cross Hospital in Wolverhampton and have since returned to school.
Det Con Gareth Homer, from West Midlands Police, said: "This was a completely random and brutal attack against two schoolchildren who were simply minding their own business.
"Both victims required hospital treatment for nasty injuries and, although they're recovering well, the psychological scars will take some time to heal.
"This could have been much worse and we have got to find the person responsible and bring him to justice."
Mr Homer appealed for witnesses saying he believed the attacker was a white man, aged around 20.
"I would also appeal directly to the attacker to do the right thing and come forward to speak to us," he added.
A police spokesman said the reason for the delay in making a public appeal was because officers investigating the attack were following up other lines of inquiry.