An Aunt did everything she could when a man tried to snatch her two-year-old niece in the street on Friday night. Once the child was safe from the attempted kidnapper, the woman ran after the suspect and, together with other people in the neighborhood, tackled him and detained him until police arrived.

Aunt was walking in Washington Heights with her niece

The woman, who does not wish to be named, was walking hand-in-hand with her two-year-old niece in Washington Heights at around 9:45 p.m. on Friday. They had been to a store in the area and were on their way home when a man came out of nowhere.

The man, later identified as Jose Martinez, grabbed the two-year-old girl by her waist from her aunt, putting her to his chest and attempted to run away with her.

As reported by the New York Post, the woman said there was no way he was going to take the child so she ran after him and managed to wrestle the two-year-old away from Martinez, who then started running away. The woman handed the little girl to another relative and immediately started running after Martinez.

Woman tackles attempted kidnapper and others join in

The woman told CBS2 that when she caught up with Martinez, the pair fought and she was punching him.

She said she sprained her thumb in the fight with the attempted kidnapper. Other people had caught on that something was up and as the aunt started screaming, others in the neighborhood joined in and started punching Martinez. The crowd managed to detain the suspect until the police arrived.

The aunt said she wasn’t being brave and didn’t really care about herself at the time as she was just scared for the little girl.

She went on to say that she has no children of her own, so her niece is the only baby she has and she wasn’t going to let anything happen to her. When asked how the little girl was after the harrowing experience, the aunt said she was doing great, going on to thank God that Martinez didn’t harm her in any way, after she had instantly reacted to the situation.

Suspect now facing kidnapping and assault charges

Martinez is now facing several charges, which include kidnapping and assault. CBS2 quotes the assistant district attorney as saying it is unknown what the kidnapper would have done to the child if the aunt and others had not stopped him. According to prosecutors, Martinez was intoxicated when the incident happened in Washington Heights in Manhattan.

However, the suspect’s attorney called Martinez a hard-working dishwasher and while saying Martinez’s charges are “serious,” he went on to say that once everything is sorted out, it will be made clear that his client was not intentionally kidnapping the little girl.