San Francisco

Mother Saves 2-Year-Old Son in SF Kidnapping; Suspect Charged

Woman chased down suspect after he ran off with the boy in the city's Castro district

A mother was able to save her 2-year-old son from being kidnapped by a stranger Friday in San Francisco's Castro District, after struggling with the alleged suspect, police said.

The incident was reported around 12:25 p.m. at Market and Noe streets.

A 32-year-old mother was walking with her toddler son when the suspect, later identified as Roscoe Holyoake, 34, from East Victoria Park, Australia, allegedly came up from behind her, grabbed the child and ran off, according to police.

The mother then ran after the suspect and, after a struggle, was able to free the child from his grasp. The woman screamed and grabbed Holyoake's arm with one hand and tried to grab the boy with her other hand.

As she tried to pull her son toward her while yelling, "What are you doing?" Holyoake pulled the boy toward him but was unsuccessful, according to court records.

Holyoake tried to run off, but good Samaritans who witnessed the incident were able to hold him until officers arrived.

The child suffered injuries not considered life-threatening, although he and his family refused medical attention, police said.

In court Tuesday, Holyoake did not enter a plea and his arraignment was postponed to Thursday.

Outside of court, Holyoake's attorney, Deputy Public Defender Stephen Olmo said, "My understanding is he has no criminal record. He's been in this country many times doing charitable work; DJ work. He was here on business prior to his arrest."

Olmo refused to comment any further, saying he hasn't had much time to talk to Holyoake.

"The charges are serious," Alex Bastian, spokesman for the San Francisco District Attorney's Office, said. "There was a child who was involved in case, obviously for all of us that was very concerning."

Holyoake has been charged with kidnapping and was being held on $500,000 bail, according to jail records. If convicted, he could face up to eight years in prison.

He reportedly works as a DJ, according to his social media profiles.

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