Man arrested after caught on video attempting to kidnap child in Queens
A suspect is in custody in connection to an attempted kidnapping of a 5-year-old boy in Queens Thursday, according to officials.
Police have arrested 24-year-old Queens resident James McGonagle and charged him with attempted kidnapping, reckless endangerment and acting in a manner injurious to a child.
Video released Friday, shows a 5-year-old walking with his mother around 8 p.m. on Hillside Avenue in Richmond Hill when McGonagle got out of a red vehicle, picked the boy up, and carried him into the car while the other suspect sat in the front passenger’s seat.
The boy’s mother, Dolores Diaz Lopez, saw it happening, reached through the car’s open front window, and pulled her son away from the man and out of the car.
According to sources, officers were at Brookdale Hospital for an unrelated matter when they recognized the suspect from the video.
They say the suspect was at the hospital seeking some sort of treatment and was taken into custody.
Police say the suspect is undergoing an evaluation at the hospital.
The mother spoke out to reporters on Friday.
Diaz Lopez said she was walking with her children, on their way to visit her husband at work when a man grabbed her son, Jacob.
“I said ‘oh my God my kids, oh my God my boy,” Diaz Lopez said.
She said her son initially sat down in the back seat, but after she and her children pleaded for them to give the boy back, he stood up and she was able to grab him.
The suspects drove off southbound on Hillside Avenue and then westbound on Jamaica Avenue.
“I don’t know why that happened. I didn’t see those people, ever,” Diaz Lopez said.
She explained in Spanish that a mother’s instinct is what made her fight and act in a different way.
“You have to do what’s necessary, no matter what,” said said. “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.”
Jacob was playing video games on his phone by Friday afternoon, but Lopez says all three of her children are traumatized and refuse to leave the house.
“Mothers have to be careful with their children,” 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.”
Police released pictures of the two suspects.
An image distributed by police shows a suspect in an attempted kidnapping in Queens.
The child was not injured and the motive remains a mystery.
An image distributed by police shows two suspects in an attempted kidnapping in Queens.
The vehicle is described as an older model maroon 4-door sedan.
An image distributed by police shows the car that was used in an attempted kidnapping in Queens.
Police are asking anyone with information to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).