Queens man who attempted to kidnap 5-year-old indicted: officials

Queens
queens alleged attempted kidnapper

The man pictured is accused of attempting to kidnap a child on July 15, 2021, in Queens. (NYPD)

RICHMOND HILL, Queens — A 24-year-old man who was arrested in an attempted kidnapping where he is accused of snatching a 5-year-old boy off a Queens street in an incident caught on video has been indicted, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced Friday

James McGonagle, 24, was arrested on July 15 in connection with the incident. According to the NYPD, it happened near the corner of Hillside and Myrtle avenues.

“In a brazen fashion, the defendant grabbed the little boy, who was just a few steps from his mother, and allegedly tried to kidnap him,” Katz said in a statement. “This mother fought to save her son. Never underestimate the strength of a mom.”

Surveillance footage shows one man hop out of a maroon car, grab the child and quickly put the boy in the back seat of the vehicle. All the while, a second man sat in the front passenger seat of the car.

When the unidentified man got back in the driver’s seat, the boy’s mother, 45, rushed to the passenger side of the car and was able to pull her son to safety through the front passenger window, authorities said.

McGonagle and the other man quickly sped off, heading southbound on Hillside Avenue and then westbound on Jamaica Avenue, according to the NYPD.

At least one other man remains at large in connection with the attempted kidnapping. The second man was described as between 50 and 60 years old with eyeglasses. He was last seen wearing an orange shirt, blue jeans, and black shoes.

McGonagle, a Fresh Meadows resident, was arraigned Friday afternoon before Queens Supreme Court Justice John Zoll on a two-count indictment charging him with attempted kidnapping in the second degree and endangering the welfare of a child. Justice Zoll ordered the defendant to return to Court on Sept. 8, 2021. McGonagle faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

The defendant has not been indicted on a later charged that he assaulted a police officer after he was taken into custody.

Submit tips to police by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), visiting crimestoppers.nypdonline.org, downloading the NYPD Crime Stoppers mobile app, or texting 274637 (CRIMES) then entering TIP577. Spanish-speaking callers are asked to dial 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).

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