Watch: Mother saves young boy from being kidnapped by two older men

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NEW YORK CITY, NY- On Friday, July 16th, New York Police Department (NYPD) officials reported that a man has been arrested in connection to the shocking kidnapping attempt caught on camera.

After his arrest, 24-year-old James McGonagle, of Queens, reportedly punched an officer in the face while he was being fingerprinted at the hospital. The officer suffered bleeding in the face.

According to sources, officers were at Brookdale Hospital for an unrelated matter when they recognized the suspect from the video. They stated that the suspect was at the hospital seeking some sort of treatment and was taken into custody. 

Now, McGongale will also be charged with reckless endangerment and assaulting an officer. Police said that McGongale is one half of a duo that attempted to kidnap a 5-year-old boy in Queens on Thursday, July 15th.

Their attempt was thwarted by the young boy’s mother.

Authorities stated that the kidnapping attempt took place around 8 p.m. on Hillside Avenue when one individual picked up the 5-year-old boy from the sidewalk and placed him in the rear seat of his vehicle while the second individual sat in the front passenger’s seat.

Police added that as the first individual went to sit in the driver’s seat, the boy’s 45-year-old mother, Dolores Diaz, pulled her child out of the car through the front passenger window before the two individuals up and fled in their vehicle.

Surveillance video released by the NYPD shows the terrifying moments lived by the child’s mother and others walking close behind when all of a sudden a man jumps from a vehicle and grabs the young boy, forcing him into the car, while the child’s mother and others frantically try to save him.

NBC 4 spoke with the mother of the young boy who was nearly kidnapped. She stated that she was going to meet her husband at work with her three kids in tow when the man approached her young son, snatched him up and put the child in his car. She said in a statement:

“I said, ‘oh my God my kids, oh my God my boy.'”

At that point, the woman said she started screaming and pleading for them to give her the boy back. She said when her son stood up in the backseat of the car, she reached through and pulled him through the window. She said:

“I don’t know why that happened. I didn’t see those people, ever.”

She added:

“You have to do what’s necessary, no matter what. The car was just parked there. I would never have imagined that a man would get out of the car and grab my son. You always have to be aware of your surroundings and not be on your phone.”

A nearby store owner stated that one of the men involved had been in the store just minutes before to purchase a beer. Police confirmed that the young boy was not injured during the incident.

The mother said that he was playing video games on his phone by the next afternoon, but that all three of her children are traumatized and refuse to leave the house. She said:

“Mothers have to be careful with their children. Always hold their hand when walking with them because there are a lot of evil people and you never know who is near.”

Police are still searching for the second suspect and that the older man seen walking next to McGonagle is his father. The motive for the attempted kidnapping remains unknown. Anyone with any information related to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).

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Armed teacher thwarts attempted kidnapping on Utah school playground

May 30th, 2021

OGDEN, UT – An armed teacher in Utah thwarted an attempted kidnapping Tuesday after confronting a man who was trying to take an 11-year-old girl from an elementary school playground, investigators said.

Police said the teacher, who is licensed to carry a concealed firearm, observed Ira Cox- Berry, 41, approach the child on the Lincoln Elementary School playground and attempt to drag her away.

The teacher, who has not been identified, ran outside and confronted Cox-Berry. While the teacher confronted the man, the child was able to flee to safety.

The teacher then gathered approximately 20 other students and ushered them into the school.

Cox-Berry approached the school building, which was locked, and began punching a window attempting to get inside. That is when the heroic teacher drew a firearm to hold Cox-Berry until police arrived.

Police took Cox-Berry into custody after a brief struggle. Police said the man was under the influence of illegal narcotics at the time of the incident:

“The suspect was high, high on some type of narcotic.”

The teacher asked the media not to identify him because the incident could hurt his future career prospects.

Police are calling the teacher a hero for preventing a tragedy. Lt. Brian Eynon of Ogden City Police Department said:

‘This employee is protected under the Second Amendment. He followed all policy and procedure at the school, and in this particular case, did everything that he should have done to protect the innocent lives of the children at the school.

‘And in this case, it is likely that a life was saved or injury to a life was prevented due to the actions of this heroic employee.”

The teacher broke no laws and will not be charged with any crime, according to police.

Police said that Cox-Berry was unknown to the child’s parents, and they were investigating any connection between the two.

The school was placed on lockdown for a short period after the 2:30 p.m. incident.

School district spokesperson Jer Bates said a crisis response team was at the school Wednesday to discuss the incident with any students in need:

“At this time, to the best of our knowledge, the student is coping quite well considering the very traumatic experience that they endured.”

Bates praised the students and the teacher and said the school district appreciated the police department’s rapid response.

Bates said that no one was injured during the incident:

“We can confirm nobody was injured and everybody is accounted for. This is definitely something that is concerning for parents and school employees, and most of all concerning for our students.”

Bates said the teacher acted appropriately:

“A teacher intervened when there was a situation that threatened students’ safety. This teacher, this school employee, is a hero. We don’t disagree with that at all.

“Yes, it was a very scary situation, something we take very seriously, but it came out with a good ending, meaning no students were physically harmed, no adults were physically harmed, that this was an incident where our emergency response protocols were acted out.”

Cox-Berry was arrested and charged with child kidnapping. Police said other charges are pending.

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New Jersey teacher suspended after calling George Floyd a ‘criminal’ in rant during class

May 4, 2021

 

JERSEY CITY, NJ – A high school teacher in New Jersey was suspended after going on a profane tirade and calling George Floyd a “criminal” in a virtual class.

 

A discussion about climate change on Zoom last week turned into an airing of grievances by Howard Zlotkin, a science teacher at William L. Dickinson High School in Jersey City.

“He’s not a hero, he’s like a criminal,” yelled the teacher, Howard Zlotkin, who is white, to a class of about 15 students. In a video, He chastised students for, as he described it, making criminals into heroes “because they’re black or because they got a bad story.”

During the rant, Zlotkin chastised people for “whining and crying about Black Lives Matter.”

Zlotkin told the students:

“He got arrested and he got killed because he wouldn’t comply and the bottom line is we make him a f—–g hero.”

George Floyd died while being taken into custody by Minneapolis police officers including Derek Chauvin, who was convicted last month of the black man’s murder.

At one point, Zlotkin turned his anger directly at his students, shouting at them:

“If you think I’m privileged then f— you, because my daughter thinks I’m privileged and I don’t speak to her.”

A Senior student, 17-year-old Timmia Williams, filmed the rant on her cell phone and contacted school officials. The school did not immediately respond, so the student forwarded the video to local news station, NBC New York, which reported on the story.

An investigation has been opened by the school district, and Zlotkin has been suspended with pay pending the outcome, according to Mussab Ali, president of the Jersey City Board of Education. Zlotkin has also been suspended from his position as an adjunct professor at Hudson County Community College.

Zlotkin has been a teacher in the district for 20 years and has tenure.

Ali stressed that Zlotkin’s “comments are not representative of the values of the board of education.”

Zlotkin told local media on Sunday that his words were taken out of context:

“I am being judged on a snapshot out of a 60-minute class. I tell the students it’s all about facts, and I was teaching those facts. I am a science teacher. My little snapshot that was posted to the world was out of this context.”

Williams said the rant started after students turned in short research papers. When she turned her paper in, Zlotkin asked her about how humans and involved in climate change.  The conversation deteriorated when he brought up his disagreement with Black Lives Matter, according to Williams.

Four black students in the class, including Williams, challenged his position, and he grew angrier and gave the four black students an assignment not given to the other students. He told them to write an essay on “why Black lives should matter,” according to Williams.

Williams, who had been accepted to college on the same day as the rant, said she could not celebrate with her family:

“This is the first time I ever felt somebody telling me that my opinion doesn’t matter because I’m young and because I’m black and stuff. It just threw me off. I just started crying.”

When Williams returned to class Thursday, she and the other black students were allegedly confronted by the teacher again, which was also reportedly caught on cellphone video. When they said they did not complete the essay. He reportedly told Williams she did not complete the essay because she could not support her position:

“Why? You can’t make a case for yourself. No, you can’t, Timmia, that’s why.”

When Ms. Williams started to defend herself, Mr. Zlotkin cursed at her and later told her to “talk to the hand.”

He chastised another student who refused to do the essay and kicked a third off the remote class meeting after he defended his classmates, she said. 

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