RAMSEY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A Wyckoff man was arrested on kidnapping and attempted murder charges after police said he tried to throw two young boys in front of a moving train Monday.

The two boys, ages 7 and 9, were sitting on a bench at the NJ TRANSIT Main Street Station in Ramsey with their mother and grandmother, waiting for the 2:20 p.m. train to Glen Rock, police said.

WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reports

As the train got closer to the station, the boys got up to get a better look and that’s when 47-year-old David Howard grabbed them, Ramsey Police Chief Bryan Gurney said.

The boys’ mother told police she noticed Howard, who appeared to be visibly intoxicated, sitting on a nearby bench, spitting on the ground.

1010 WINS’ Al Jones reports

Main Street Station - Ramsey, NJ - Sep 4, 2012 (credit: Marla Diamond / WCBS 880)

Main Street Station – Ramsey, NJ – Sep 4, 2012 (credit: Marla Diamond / WCBS 880)

“It was at this time that Mr. Howard left the bench at the train station and grabbed one of the boys around the neck in a headlock and the other boy by the shoulder and started leading them towards the tracks as the train was coming,” Gurney told WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond.

The boys broke away after their mother and grandmother intervened, police said.

“Fortunately, the mother and the grandmother grabbed Mr. Howard, stopped him and the boys were able to break free. And they subdued him, they tackled him and they held him down until police arrived,” Gurney told Diamond.

“They acted quickly, they acted appropriately, and more importantly they saved those little boys lives,” Gurney told CBS 2’s Derricke Dennis.

Trish O’Malley lives nearby and told CBS 2’s Dennis the attack has left everyone nervous.

“All the kids come to see and sit and watch the train, all the kids, all the kids do it, and the fact that someone was just hanging out waiting…” O’Malley said.

Howard has been charged with attempted murder, kidnapping and aggravated assault. He was also charged with aggravated assault on a police officer for allegedly spitting in a patrolman’s face during his arrest.

“Frankly, because of his level of intoxication it was very difficult to communicate with him,” Gurney said.

Howard is being held on $500,000 bond.

At the suspect’s home in Wyckoff, his mother came to the door Tuesday night, but refused to answer any questions.

“The most heinous of acts would be to hurt a child and we feel that was his intent,” Gurney said. “I’m sure that they were shaken up but they certainly weren’t injured,” Gurney said. “I saw them, it looked like they were in good spirits.”

The investigation is ongoing.

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