A Florida man was arrested after he attempted to snatch a 4-year-old boy from inside a CVS pharmacy in Miami Beach, Florida, on Thursday, police said — but luckily, the boy’s quick-thinking father came to the rescue and dragged the would-be kidnapper away.
The frightening incident, which was captured on CCTV, took place at around 11:55 a.m. when the boy and his parents were leaving the pharmacy located on the corner of Collins Avenue and 74th Street in the city’s North Beach area, according to WPLG Local10.
The brazen suspect, identified as 26-year-old Nicolas Sternaman, can be seen walking into the store before he suddenly turns and bends down to grab the boy by the neck.
The footage shows Sternaman lifting the child off the ground and turning to face the store’s door to leave when the father pounces on the suspect and pulls Sternaman away from his son.
The boy can be seen falling to the ground while his desperate mother races to her child’s defense by picking him up and scooping him to safety inside the store.
As she does so, the boy’s father wrestles with Sternaman for several seconds and even rips his jacket off him before the suspect bolts through the door and flees the scene.
A witness and the father chased Sternaman southbound on Collins Avenue where he took off his sweater and tossed it, WPLG Local10 reports, citing police.
Police officers joined the pursuit and arrested Sternaman along Harding Avenue near 71st Street, about three blocks from the CVS.
Sternaman is facing felony charges of aggravated child abuse and kidnapping a child, according to the Miami-Dade County Corrections and Rehabilitation website.
Sternaman, who lives in a penthouse at the Mirador 1000 condominium in South Beach, was also arrested for petit theft on Jan. 3 and was released on a $150 bond, WPLG Local10 reports, citing Miami-Dade County court records.
The outlet reports that Sternaman refused to explain to police why he had allegedly tried to abduct the child.
“Be aware of your child every second because in one second they can be taken away,” the boy’s father warned viewers of WPLG Local10, while his mother described the incident as “terrifying.”
Witness Zachary Jefferson explained to CBS News what he saw unfold.
“I was just standing at the register and paying for my items and I look … and there was a guy just fighting another guy. And I thought it was someone trying to take the lady’s purse,” Jefferson said.
“Everyone was just shocked because it was so quick and it was so fast. The guy just came out of nowhere.”