New York

Dad Who Allegedly Snatched Daughter, Attacked Wife to Face Judge

The girl's father, Johnny Woo, was taken into custody near exit 11 on the Major Deegan

What to Know

  • Kim Woo was snatched from a home on Staten Island Tuesday morning
  • State Police issued an Amber Alert hours later, saying they feared she could be in "imminent danger"
  • Her father was taken into custody; charges are pending

The man who police say attacked his estranged cop wife and then snatched his 2-year-old girl, sparking an Amber Alert and hours-long search, was set to appear in criminal court on Staten Island Wednesday to answer to the charges against him. 

Johnny Woo, 45, was taken into custody in the Bronx Wednesday afternoon after he allegedly yanked his daughter Kim Woo from her mother's Staten Island home wearing only pink pajamas, was rescued in good condition.

Woo is facing charges of assault and harassment, police say.

Video from the scene of Woo's arrest shows police cars surrounding his vehicle on the side of the Major Deegan Expressway in Morris Heights. The police activity briefly backed up traffic on the highway. 

NYPD pulls over the father wanted for allegedly kidnapping his 2-year-old child from a Staten Island home. The traffic stop happened on the Major Deegan Expressway on the southbound side Tuesday.

A sharp-eyed driver who was picking up his son from school nearby spotted the wanted vehicle as he was driving on the highway.

"I was driving, picking up my son from school and he told me about the Amber Alert," Fernandes told NBC 4 New York, recalling the car traveling right past him. "I sped up and I went up to the car and I looked at the plate. And the plate was the same as in the Amber Alert. That's how I had to follow him until I got the conclusion to stop." 

Fernandes' son called 911, and the two spoke with police on the phone.

"I was letting the dispatcher know the car is ahead of me. I could see the police officer, his lights in front, and I let him know the car is on the right side," said Fernandes.

Fernandes started flashing his high-beams to get the police's attention, and then drove up alongside the car to try and box in Woo.

"God put me there for a purpose. And I thought I was the one who was going to be arrested because I was speeding on the highway," he said. "But thank God, we got the baby, everything is safe." 

NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill said a joint effort helped police locate Woo, including by Fernandes and NYPD school safety agents and highway patrol.

"Public safety really IS a shared responsibility," O'Neill tweeted. 

State Police had been looking for the pair since Woo fled with the child after allegedly punching his estranged 35-year-old wife in the stomach at the woman's home in Willowbrook before 9 a.m. A statewide Amber Alert was issued shortly before noon as State Police say they feared the child could be in "imminent danger." 

Woo's estranged wife -- an NYPD sergeant who was off duty at the time -- was taken to a hospital in stable condition; she's expected to be reunited with her daughter soon. 

Police were seen coming and going from her home Tuesday. 

Neighbors said they were in shock. Several people described the mother and little girl as friendly but said they kept to themselves.

"I was shocked to see the cop's car here this morning," said Anthony Sullivano. "We have a quiet street here, but when you see a cop car, something is wrong."

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