New York kidnap suspect was with his father when he tried to drag five-year-old into car, police say

James McGonagle was recognised from video footage by police officer at Queens hospital

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Sunday 18 July 2021 18:04

Queens man arrested after attempting to kidnap toddler from street

The man who allegedly grabbed a child from a New York street was with his father at the time of the shocking incident, say police.

James McGonagle, 24, is accused of trying to kidnap the five-year-old boy as he walked with his mother and siblings in Queens.

Video footage shows Mr McGonagle snatching the youngster and bundling him into a car, before his mother, Dolores Diaz Lopez, managed to drag the child back out through an open window.

Police say that a second man in the car was Mr McGonagle’s father, a 55-year-old who is also named James McGonagle.

Investigators do not know if his father knew anything about the kidnap attempt, according to The New York Post.

Following the incident the youngest Mr McGonagle went to Brookdale Hospital in Brooklyn, where he allegedly punched a bystander in the face.

A police officer at the hospital on a separate matter recognized the suspect from the surveillance video and raised the alarm. During his arrest Mr McGonagle was caught on an office’s body cam saying “I attempted to kidnap a kid today” sources told The Post.

Mr McGonagle was admitted to the hospital’s psychiatric ward early Friday, added police sources.

His court arraignment was postponed when the suspect allegedly punched a police officer attempting to fingerprint him on Saturday.

He remains at Brookdale Hospital and now faces an additional charge of assaulting a police officer.

“You can’t go before the judge before we formally identify you and he won’t let us fingerprint him without knocking us in the face,” an NYPD source told the newspaper. “So he’ll be a guest of the government for the time being.”

He is also charged with attempted kidnapping, reckless endangerment and acting in a manner injurious to a child in connection with the incident, says the NYPD.

Investigators are still trying to locate his father.