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An alleged kidnapper in New York City learned real quick that he messed with the wrong aunt.

According to CBS New York, a woman (who did not want to be identified) claims she was holding her niece in Washington Heights when out of nowhere, a man grabbed the child out of arms. They were heading home after shopping at a nearby store.

“I’m holding her hand, all of a sudden this guy just comes and grabs the baby through the waist and put her towards his chest — and starts running away with the baby,” she told a CBS New York reporter.

Not skipping a beat, she chased right after him—all of which was caught on surveillance video.

“I started punching him,” she said. “That’s when I sprained my thumb.”

She added: “I was just scared for the baby. I didn’t really care about me.”

When people on the street saw what was going on, they jumped in and helped apprehend the suspect.

“Then I started screaming and the neighborhood helped me, and from there they started punching him too,” she said.

The bystanders ended up chasing the alleged kidnapper to the middle of the street and held him there until police arrived.

The suspect, Jose Martinez, was arraigned Friday night on several charges including kidnapping and assault, CBS New York noted.

Martinez’s lawyer says that when “things get sorted out” it will be clear that Martinez, who was suspected to be drunk, was not trying to take the child. Meanwhile, the ADA stressed that there was no way to know what he would have done to the child if her aunt and others had not intervened.

Luckily, the little girl is doing OK.

“She’s great,” the woman said. “Thank God he didn’t get to harm her. I reacted right away.”


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Aunt Beats Up Alleged Kidnapper Who Tried To Snatch Her Niece  was originally published on