‘Superwoman’ Queens mom, siblings recount saving boy from kidnapperJuly 17, 2021
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The apparently deranged stranger who snatched a boy off a Queens sidewalk and threw him into a car — only to have the child’s quick-thinking and faster-moving mom grab him back — handled the kid “like he was a bag of garbage,” the victim’s big brother told The Post.
Dolores Diaz Lopez, 45, was walking along Hillside Avenue in Richmond Hill Thursday night, taking her three kids to see their mechanic dad, Benjamin Diaz, at work, when a man she didn’t know leapt from a nearby maroon sedan.
Jacob had just let go of her hand, running a little bit in front of her on the wide and fairly empty sidewalk. She said she was watching him.
The next thing she knew a man sprinted out of a car, grabbed Jacob and ran back to the vehicle with him.
“Then I saw the man coming out of the car. He ran towards Jacob,” Lopez told The Post. “I was scared. I screamed, ‘Oh my God, he is taking my kid!”
“He picked him up like he was a bag of garbage,” said Jacob’s 9-year-old brother, Benny. “The car was close by. He opened the passenger door in the back and threw my brother in the car. He shut the door and locked it.”
James McGonagle, 24, has been charged with attempted kidnapping in the bizarre, shocking incident.
Diaz Lopez, Benny and 8-year-old daughter Zuriely sprang into action like a trio from an action movie — and rescued a stunned Jacob.
“I ran around the other side of the car and tried to open the door,” Zuriley told The Post. “I pulled it but it didn’t open. The man locked the door with my brother inside the car.”
Benny recalled McGonagle’s passenger in the sedan ask the apparently crazed kidnapper, “What are you doing?”
“He was sitting in the passenger seat in the front,” Benny said of the man who police sourced identified Saturday as McGonagle’s father. “The man who took Jacob said, ‘We are kidnapping the kid.’”
It was up to Mom to finally save the day.
“Jacob stood up in the back seat and I pulled him out through the front passenger window,” she said as she gestured out both arms, made fists and pulled her arms in, showing how she grabbed her son out of the car.
She grabbed Jacob through the front window because the windows in the back were locked.
“Give me that stupid kid back!” McGonagle yelled. But by then a crowd had gathered and the men took off.
“He didn’t want to get caught,” said Benny.
Lopez said she was beyond relieved when Jacob was back in her arms.
“I was in shock. My kids were in shock,” she said. “I hugged my three kids. They held on to me and I held them tight. I was saying, Thanks God, thanks God. I was determined to get Jacob back. I would do anything to rescue any of my children.”
Benny said all the kids were in tears after Jacob was rescued.
““I was non-stop crying,” the little boy told The Post. “One of the detectives went to the deli to buy us three ring pops to calm us down but I was still crying non-stop. I only stopped when I went the the police station and I saw cartoons.”
Said Zuriely, “I was afraid. I hugged my brother. I didn’t say anything. I just hugged him.”
McGonagle, 24, was arrested Friday after he showed up at Brookdale Hospital, apparently in the middle of a meltdown, and punched an innocent bystander. He was admitted to the hospital’s psychiatric unit.
His father, also named James McGonagle, 55, was with his son at the time of the attempted abduction and was also with him at the hospital.
Cops they are looking for the father, who was reportedly shocked when his son tried to kidnap Jacob, as a witness.
Lopez said Jacob never cried during the ordeal and she thinks he was “confused.” But he wasn’t confused when cops showed him photos of McGonagle and he identified him.
The detectives showed Jacob a picture of the man, and Jacob said in Spanish, ‘He robbed me,’” said Benny, who added, “I don’t want anything to happen to my brother again or my sister.”
Lopez said she called her husband to tell him and he’s “still in shock.”
“I’m superwoman for my kids now,” Lopez recalled, noting she’s a little nervous to go back out onto the street with her kids again.
“Oh my God, I want to have three hands,” she said, laughing.
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