A 24-year-old Fresh Meadows man was indicted by a Queens grand jury July 25 for trying to kidnap a kid 10 days earlier.
James McGonagle grabbed the 5-year-old off the sidewalk as the boy was walking with his family, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said.
Luckily, the boy’s mother stopped the kidnapping attempt.
“In a brazen fashion, the defendant grabbed the little boy, who was just a few steps from his mother, and allegedly tried to kidnap him. This is a parent’s worst fear. This mother fought to save her son. Never underestimate the strength of a mom,” Katz said in a statement.
Surveillance footage captured the attack.
The young boy was running slightly ahead of his family as they were walking on Hillside Avenue near 117th Street just past 8 p.m. McGonagle stepped out of a red sedan that had been parked on the street, charged at the victim, picked him up and tossed him in the back seat, according to officials. Police said another individual was sitting in the car’s passenger seat.
McGonagle hopped in the driver’s seat, but the victim’s mother sprang into action, the NYPD said. The mother ran to the vehicle, reached inside the open rear window, grabbed her son and attempted to pull him out of the car. McGonagle allegedly clutched the child’s legs from the opposite side of the car and attempted to pull him back into the vehicle.
The mother, along with two other young family members, succeeded in pulling her son through the window. Video footage shows witnesses attempting to slow the assailant’s escape, with one man even hitting the car, but McGonagle sped off down Hillside Avenue and onto Jamaica Avenue
Katz said that during the struggle, the male passenger was heard asking McGonagle, “What are you doing?”
McGonagle allegedly responded in sum and substance, “We are taking the kid.”
McGonagle was apprehended a few hours later. According to Katz, he was recognized by police inside a Brooklyn hospital being treated for facial injuries.
The young boy was not injured during the incident.
McGonagle faces a two-count indictment charging him with second-degree attempted kidnapping and endangering the welfare of a child.
He was ordered to return to court Sept. 8, where he could face up to 15 years in prison if convicted.
Police are still searching for the second individual. He is described as a light-skinned male, 50 to 60 years old, with eyeglasses. He was last seen wearing an orange shirt, blue jeans and black shoes.