A New York man who allegedly tried to kidnap a five-year-old boy in broad daylight was arrested Friday, police said.
James McGonagle, 24, was charged with attempted kidnapping, recklessly endangering and acting in a manner harmful to a child for allegedly attempting to kidnap little Jacob Diaz, the NYPD said.
Jacob’s mother Dolores Diaz Lopez, 45, was filmed in surveillance footage rescuing her son and pulling him out of the kidnapper’s car through the window after he was brutally snatched from a sidewalk in the Richmond Hill neighborhood of Queens.
An elderly bald man, allegedly McGonagall’s accomplice, has yet to be found. The alarming video of the attack showed him wearing jeans and an orange polo shirt with sunglasses.
McGonagall was caught when Brookdale Hospital officers recognized him on the surveillance video for an unrelated matter, police sources said. WABC. The suspect was reportedly in hospital for treatment and is under investigation.
“I said ‘oh my God my kids, oh my God my boy,'” Diaz Lopez said, recalling the botched kidnapping attempt.
She said WNYW: ‘I fought, they say you fight tooth and nail for your children and I did.’
James McGonagle, 24, has been arrested for allegedly trying to kidnap a five-year-old boy in broad daylight
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.
Jacob Diaz, 5, has been pictured safe in his home after his horrific kidnapping attempt
The mother noted that the stranger who grabbed her son said nothing when he put him in the car – and she had never seen him before. Investigators say 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 that McGonagall had been arrested.
‘My family, they are all feeling well. But now I know the man is not on the street and now I can rest and know my family is okay,” she told the outlet. “He can’t do this with another kid.”
In an interview with WABCDiaz Lopez said she and her children were on their way to visit their father around 8 p.m. Thursday, on Hillside Avenue in the New York City borough, when the man jumped out of a parked maroon sedan and ran at them.
Surveillance footage of the scene shows the man alleged to be McGonagall picking up the five-year-old boy and placing him in the back seat.
Diaz Lopez, with her young son Benny and her daughter Zuriely, pursued the kidnappers.
Benny Diaz, 9) told the Daily News that McGonagall reportedly told his accomplice, “We’re taking the kid!”
According to the boy, the older man would have replied: ‘No, leave him!’
“I said to the man, ‘Give me back my brother!’,” Benny Diaz said.
Jacob initially sits in the car, but when his older brother approaches and begs the suspect to release the boy, Jacob stands up and Diaz Lopez is able to pull him out.
A mother was walking with her children on Hillside Avenue in Queens on Thursday night when her five-year-old son was the victim of a brutal kidnapping attempt.
A man in a white T-shirt gets out of a maroon sedan and rushes to the family, who apparently didn’t know him
Surveillance videos show the man picking up the five-year-old boy and carrying him to the car. The recording released by the NYPD has no audio
The suspect stuffs the boy into the backseat of the sedan while being chased by the boy’s family
The mother springs into action, grabbing her son through the front passenger window and pulling him out of the car
The boy was not injured in the foiled kidnapping, police say
“My brother was intelligent and stood up and my mother took him by the arms,” Benny told the Daily News.
He added, “If they didn’t return my brother, I’d have to beat them.”
Then the victim’s mother is seen on video running to the car and, after a brief struggle, pulls Jacob through the front passenger window.
Zuriely Diaz, 8, said she heard McGonagall say, “Give me back that stupid kid.”
According to police, Jacob was not injured. His family said he was scared but didn’t cry during a horrific encounter.
When interviewed by the Daily News on Friday, little Jacob wore a shirt that read “Proud to be a Mama’s Boy.”
Diaz Lopez told WABC that all three of her children are now “traumatized” and refuse to leave the house.
“Mothers should be careful with their children,” she said. “Always hold their hand when you walk with them, because there are a lot of bad people out there and you never know who’s around.”
McGonagall and the other man were also seen in the video fleeing south on Hillside before turning west onto Jamaica Avenue.
The horrifying incident comes as crime rates in New York continue to rise, with gun violence on the rise and attacks on the city’s subway systems and on the streets becoming more common.
Anyone with information about the foiled 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).