A New York City man who allegedly tried to kidnap a five-year-old boy in broad daylight was arrested on Friday, police said.
James McGonagle, 24, was charged with attempted kidnapping, reckless endangerment and acting in a manner injurious to a child for allegedly trying to kidnap little Jacob Diaz, the NYPD said.
Jacob’s mother Dolores Diaz Lopez, 45, was filmed in surveillance footage rescuing her son, pulling him from the kidnapper’s car through the window after he was brazenly snatched from a sidewalk in the Richmond Hill neighborhood of Queens.
An older bald man, allegedly McGonagle’s accomplice, remains to be found. He was seen in the alarming video of the attack wearing jeans and an orange polo shirt with sunglasses.
McGonagle was nabbed when cops at Brookdale Hospital for an unrelated matter recognized him from the surveillance video, police sources told WABC. The suspect was allegedly at the hospital seeking treatment and is undergoing evaluation.
‘I said ‘oh my God my kids, oh my God my boy,” Diaz Lopez said, recalling the botched kidnapping attempt.
She told WNYW: ‘I fought, they say you fight tooth and nail for your children and that’s what I did.’
James McGonagle, 24, has been arrested for allegedly trying to kidnap a five-year-old boy in broad daylight
Police are still looking for the man in the orange shirt in connection with the botched abduction in Queens
Dolores Diaz Lopez was walking in the Richmond Hill neighborhood of Queens when someone tried to grab her five-year-old son Jacob from the sidewalk.
The mom noted that the stranger who grabbed her son did not say anything as he put him in the car – and she had never seen him before. Investigators said there is no evidence that the suspects knew the boy’s mother.
Diaz told the New York Daily News that she was ‘so happy’ to hear McGonagle had been arrested.
‘My family, they all feel good. But now I know the man is not on the street and now I can rest and I know my family is okay,’ she told the outlet. ‘He can’t do this with another kid.’
In an interview with WABC, Diaz Lopez said she and her children were on their way to visit their father around 8pm Thursday, on Hillside Avenue in the New York City borough when the man popped out of a parked maroon sedan and ran at them.
Surveillance video from the scene shows the man believed to be McGonagle scoop up the five-year-old boy and place him in the backseat.
Diaz Lopez, with her young son Benny and her daughter Zuriely, chased after the kidnappers.
Benny Diaz, 9, told the Daily News that McGonagle allegedly told his accomplice: ‘We are taking the kid!’
According to the boy, the older man allegedly responded: ‘No, leave him!’
‘I was telling the man, ‘Give me my brother back!’,’ Benny Diaz told the Daily News.
Jacob initially sits down in the car, but when his older brother approaches, pleading with the suspect to release the boy, Jacob gets up and Diaz Lopez is able to pull him out.
A mother was walking with her children on Hillside Avenue in Queens on Thursday evening when her five-year-son became the victim of a brazen attempted kidnapping
A man in a white T-shirt emerges from a maroon sedan and runs up to the family, who apparently did not know him
Surveillance video shows the man scoop up the five-year-old boy and carry him to the car. The recording released by the NYPD does not have audio
The suspect stuffs the boy into the back seat of the sedan while being pursued by the boy’s family
The mother jumps into action, grabs her son through the front passenger window and pulls him out of the car
Police say the boy was not harmed during the thwarted kidnapping
‘My brother was intelligent and stood up and my mother got him by his arms,’ Benny told the Daily News.
He added: ”If they didn’t give my brother back I would have to punch them.’
Then, the victim’s mother is seen on video rushing toward the car and, after a brief struggle, pulls Jacob through the front passenger window.
Zuriely Diaz, 8, told the Daily News she heard McGonagle say: ‘Give me that stupid kid back.’
According to the police, Jacob was not injured. His family told the Daily News that he was scared but did not cry through horrific encounter.
When interviewed by the Daily News on Friday, little Jacob wore a shirt that read ‘Proud to be a Mama’s Boy.’
The suspect in the botched child abduction and another man are seen on the video fleeing south on Hillside, before turning west onto Jamaica Avenue.
The chilling incident comes as crime rates in New York continue to soar, with gun violence surging and attacks on the city’s subway systems and in the streets becoming increasingly common.
Anyone with information on the thwarted kidnapping in Queens is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).