QUEENS, NY – Surveillance video captured on Friday depicted a harrowing sight, as a man ran up to a 5 year-old boy who was walking on the sidewalk with his family in Queens, NY and attempted to kidnap him in broad daylight, police say. James McGonagle, 24, was arrested and charged with attempted kidnapping, reckless endangerment and endangering the welfare of a child, according to an NYPD tweet which also displayed the video of the failed abduction.
McGonagle is allegedly shown on the surveillance video sitting in a car parked on the side of a street. The 5 year-old victim is then seen walking on the sidewalk ahead of his family; at that time, the suspect gets out of his vehicle, runs over to the child and snatches him up in his arms.
The suspect is then seen running back to his car and putting the child in the back seat as the family gives chase. McGonagle then allegedly gets into the driver’s seat and attempts to flee, but the child’s family members manage to pull him out of an open window and to safety; at that point, the suspect speeds off as bystanders attempt to get involved.
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Police quickly tracked down McGonagle and placed him under arrest. Officials say that while he was being fingerprinted, the suspect punched a police officer in the face; additional charges are likely.
Reports indicate that McGonagle was working with another individual who is still at large, cops say. Stills captured from surveillance video show the two walking together on a sidewalk prior to the attempted kidnapping incident.
The boy’s mother, Diaz Lopez, spoke to local media about the incident, saying that her children are now traumatized.
“The car was just parked there. I would never have imagined that a man would get out of the car and grab my son. You always have to be aware of your surroundings and not be on your phone,” she said. “Always hold their hand when walking with them, because there are a lot of evil people and you never know who is near.”