A woman chased down an attempted kidnapper who ran off with her 2-year-old niece in upper Manhattan on Thursday night, police said.
Jose Martinez is accused of taking the girl while she was on a walk with her aunt back home from a deli in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan.
“I’m holding the baby’s hand and all of a sudden, he comes and grabs her — grabs her (around) the waist, pulls her against his chest and he’s tilting with her and he’s running,” the aunt, who asked that her name not be published, told the New York Daily News.
“Rapist! He took my 2-year-old!” she screamed as she chased him down.
The aunt roughed up the man after she was able to track him down Thursday night and then let the girl’s father finish the job.
“I ran after him, took the baby, threw it to my mom and started punching him unconscious,” she said. “I reacted right away, so he didn’t even get a chance to touch her.”
She placed a 911 call using her Bluetooth headset as she was in the middle of pummeling the suspect to the ground.
The father also punched the suspect, “who tried to block the blows with his arms but was still knocked to the ground.”
The toddler was not hurt or even shaken up over the incident.
“She’s fine, thank God,” the aunt said. “It was a scary moment. That’s all I can say.”
Police charged Martinez with kidnapping, unlawful imprisonment, and endangering the welfare of a child. He is being held on $100,000 bail following his arraignment hearing in Manhattan Criminal Court Friday.
Prosecutors say Martinez took the child while under the influence of alcohol.
There have been other attempted kidnappings thwarted by family members.
A Florida mother stopped her 13-year-old daughter’s would-be kidnapper after she chased him and engaged him in a “tug-of-war.”
In January, a grandfather fought off a woman who allegedly attempted to kidnap his 3-year-old granddaughter in Northern California.