What to Know
- A 29-year-old man allegedly tried to snatch a Queens toddler in front of her mom, then burst into a woman's home and held her at knifepoint
- The child's mother was able to grab her back; the quick-thinking teacher opened her door just at the right moment -- when cops burst in
- The suspect faces a felony count of attempted kidnapping; no motive was clear but his lawyer asked that he receive medical treatment
A 29-year-old stranger allegedly tried to snatch a toddler as she rode a scooter on a Queens street Monday, then busted into a neighboring home and held a teacher at knifepoint, authorities say.
The 3-year-old girl was riding in a motorized toy car along 104th Avenue in Jamaica around 5:45 p.m. Monday when cops allege Lester Augusto tried to grab her right in front of her mother. The girl was strapped into the pink toy car and he couldn't immediately pull her out. Then he allegedly grabbed the entire seat and tried to run off with the girl; her mother wrestled the child away, while screaming for help.
A neighbor nearby, who only wished to be identified as Johnathon, came and engaged the stranger, scaring him off.
A witness told the Daily News that Augusto, a native of Guatemala whose current address wasn't immediately clear, was acting "crazy" and started trying to get into random houses on the block. One door was unlocked, neighbors said, and Augusto allegedly busted in, holding a teacher in terror with a knife to her throat.
He allegedly dragged her around the apartment and acted as if he were trying to barricade them inside with furniture. The teacher, who had just got home from work before being held, opened the door and cops pushed their way in not long after. No injuries were reported.
Police say Augusto didn't know either of the victims and they don't have a motive at this time for the alleged kidnapping attempt.
Augusto was charged with a felony count of attempted kidnapping and burglary. He was arraigned Tuesday. The man's lawyer asked for medical treatment; Augusto was ordered held on $100,000 bail.