Attempted kidnapper arrested after woman chases him down in Washington Heights

WASHINGTON HEIGHTS, Manhattan — A man is facing kidnapping charges, accused of snatching a 2-year-old girl on a street in Upper Manhattan before her aunt told police she was able to grab her niece back.

It happened around 9:45 p.m. Thursday.

Police say Jose Martinez, 27, approached the woman and her 2-year-old niece, grabbed the girl and fled from St. Nicholas Avenue and West 193rd Street.

The aunts said she chased after the suspect and yelled for help. When she got to the corner of the block, she got the child back from the suspect.

She and other family members then chased the alleged kidnapper.

Surveillance cameras from a corner grocery store captured the suspect running down the street.

They restrained him and held him down until police arrived. The aunt told police she and the child's father began yelling at Martinez and punched him.

But on Friday, neighbors we spoke with say this may have all been a misunderstanding.

A man who didn't want his identity revealed talked to PIX11,

"He knocked down the little girl by mistake he picked her up and before he picked her up he was already being attacked. He was being attacked he try to run away he couldn't get away."

Martinez is being held on $100,000 bail.

Martinez was arraigned in Manhattan Criminal Court Friday night. He is charged with kidnapping, unlawful imprisonment, acting in a manner injurious to child under 17, reckless endangerment and assault.