NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A Staten Island man was in police custody Sunday evening, charged with trying to kidnap an 11-year-old girl.
Police said Michael Gordan, 46, of Staten Island, was charged with assault, kidnapping, and acting in a manner to injure a child in the incident. As CBS2’s Dave Carlin reported, investigators said Gordan targeted a young girl he did not know, and she bravely fought back to defend herself.
Inside a third-floor hallway in an apartment building on Broad Street in the Stapleton section of the borough, the 11-year-old girl fought with all her might. Police said it was how she managed to escape the clutches of the kidnapper who was dragging her in to a stairway.
Gordan was taken in to police custody almost a full day after the attack late afternoon Saturday, police said.
Police said Gordan did not live in the building and did not know the girl.
“This could’ve been anybody’s child,” said neighbor Jaye Santos.
Santos said she was in her apartment when she heard screaming.
“It was a: ‘Help me! Help me! Help me,’” she said. “As I came, out, the man was grabbing her like a hawk; bringing her back to the thing, she was kicking, kicking, kicking.”
Santos watched as the suspect ran. She considers the girl very brave, and was glad to see her fighting back so aggressively.
“She’s a tall 11-year-old girl –l she is maybe a little taller than me and the guy was my height,” she said. “That’s what saved her — the height and everybody coming outside.”
The girl was in the building for a birthday party and was in the hallway with four other young children.
Neighbors said one of the other girls who was in the hall, a 9-year-old, told them she was also targeted and followed. That information is unconfirmed by Police.
“There was one victim he actually grabbed, and there was another victim he attempted to grab,” said neighbor Kay Haffney, “That’s the one he chased to the check cashing place.”
The manager of the apartment building told CBS2 not to enter. But he did say police were shown the suspect on surveillance video.
It was while reviewing the building security footage that investigators said they recognized the suspect and had a mug shot of him.
Police said Gordan has prior arrests on drug, trespassing and attempted burglary suspects.