What to Know
- The NYPD says a Queens man attempted to kidnap a 5-year-old boy -- an attempt that was thwarted by the young child's mother
- According to police, the kidnapping attempt took place around 8 p.m. on Hillside Avenue when one individual picked up the 5-year-old boy from the sidewalk
- Police say that as the first individual sat in the driver's seat, the boy's 45-year-old mother, Dolores Diaz, pulled her child out of the car through the front passenger window
The man arrested last week in connection to a shocking kidnapping attempt caught on camera was indicted by a Queens Grand Jury Friday and faces 15 years in prison if convicted, District Attorney Melinda Katz said.
James McGonagle, 24, of Queens, was arrested one week ago for allegedly pulling a 5-year-old boy off a sidewalk on July 15 a few feet away from his mother and attempting to drive away with the boy. The terrifying encounter was caught on camera.
Katz said the Fresh Meadows man was arraigned Friday on second-degree attempted kidnapping and endangering the welfare of a child charges. Contact information for his attorney was not immediately known.
"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," Katz said in a statement. "This is a parent’s worst fear. This mother fought to save her son. Never underestimate the strength of a mom."
Detectives had been searching for a second potential suspect in connection to the attempted kidnapping but police have still not yet released additional details on that man.
In Friday's indictment announcement, Katz said a male passenger sitting in the suspect's vehicle at the time of the attempting kidnapping asked McGonagle, "What are you doing?" McGonagle allegedly responded, "We are taking the kid."
But the alleged kidnapper was not successful. The boy's 45-year-old mother, Dolores Diaz, pulled her child out of the car through the front passenger window before the vehicle could be driven away.
McGonagle was arrested at a Brooklyn hospital the next day after police witnessed him bring treated for facial injuries, according to Katz. While at the hospital, law enforcement sources said McGonagle punched a cop in the face while he was being fingerprinted.
Surveillance video released by police shows the harrowing moments lived by the child's mother and others walking close behind him when all of a sudden a man jumps from a vehicle and grabs the child, forcing him into the car, while the child's mother and others frantically try to save him, ultimately managing to rescue him before the car flees.
NBC 4 New York spoke with the mother of the 5-year-old who was nearly kidnapped. She said was going to meet her husband at work with her three kids in tow when the man approached her young son, snatched him and put the child in his car. She said it was at this point that she started screaming. It was when her son stood up in the backseat of the car that she pulled him through the window, she said.