Boy, 4, Nearly Abducted From Manhattan Sidewalk

NEW YORK (CBS 2) — Police in Manhattan are searching for a man who they said tried to abduct a four-year-old boy on an East Village street in broad daylight.

Luckily, a video made by a store’s surveillance camera has given detectives an image of a suspect. Police are looking for a man who suddenly started to grab the boy, who was being cared for by a nanny at the time, reports CBS 2’s Pablo Guzman.

Kate Peterson, a nanny herself who cares for a 15-month-old girl in the area, knows what that nanny and the boy’s family are going through.

“That’s really scary. Usually I feel safe, but I definitely try to keep an eye out for people that look suspicious,” Peterson said. “I’m glad that you told me about that, and I’ll definitely be on the watch.”

The attempted grab of the child happened right near P.S. 64, which has made parents particularly nervous.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said the nanny had just stepped out of a cab, at 6th Street off Avenue B at about 11 a.m. Wednesday morning with four-year-old twins, a boy and a girl.

“She had the girl’s hand, and the boy, she was reaching over to get his hand, when a male said words to the effect of ‘you’re coming with me, kid,’ and put his arms around the boy,” Kelly said.

Police said the suspect put his arms around the boy and picked him up, but the nanny screamed, and the man walked off.

As he turned the corner, a second surveillance camera picked the suspect up, still walking away past a grocery store.

Police described the suspect as a black man, between the ages of 45 and 55 years old, about five-foot-six to five-foot-eight with a slim build. He was wearing a brown, hooded sweatshirt with writing on the front, and faded black jeans.

Daniel Gleeson said he used to take his young daughter for walks in the morning without thinking twice, but he won’t be doing so anymore.

“I’m walking around here all the time with my child,” Gleeson said. “I mean, she’s in the stroller because I usually walk around with her.”

The NYPD is asking for the public’s assistance in finding the suspect.

Anyone with information about the attempted abduction is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS.

The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers Website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or texting their tips to 274637(CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

  • Pete C

    Sam, don’t be naive. I’m a 6′ 195 lb. man, and this could happen to me for a split second, let alone a small, female nanny. Now I’d obviously have my kid back in a second, and would issue a serious beatdown to that 5’7″ punk, as well as calling the cops, but if you have ever walked down a busy NYC street with your kid you know they don’t exactly willingly clutch onto your hand the entire team and stay focused. This nanny seems to have done a great job of getting the kid right back and yelling for attention.

  • Beth

    Sam clearly sound like an uninvolved semi-parent. The kind of guy who thinks he deserves a medal for changing a diaper. I have a 2 year old and I know how hard it is to juggle the kid, my bag, pay a cabbie, etc – let alone have 2 kids. The nanny saved this kid. Hey Sam – maybe stop judging and start really parenting and you’ll realize it takes a split second for someone to grab a kid, or for them to wander away etc.

  • Sam

    The nanny should be fired. The fact that this guy was actually able to pick this child up in his arms, just shows that she was not paying attention. No one would get near enough to my kid to pick any of them up.

    • heather

      Honestly, this could happen to you AS THE PARENT. She was paying enough attention that she screamed as soon as he picked up the child. I say she did a good job. This could be about an abducted child, rather it is about a near abduction instead.

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