Would-be NYC kidnapper was with his dad when he snatched boy off street

The two men involved in a terrifying attempted kidnapping in Queens are father and son, police sources told The Post.

The frightening, bizarre child snatching unfolded Thursday night, when Dolores Diaz Lopez was walking along Hillside Avenue with her three kids, including 5-year-old Jacob, when a young man identified by cops as James McGonagle, 24, leapt from a nearby car, grabbing Jacob off the sidewalk and throwing the boy in his vehicle.

The family doesn’t know McGonagle, they said.

The incident was caught on surveillance video, which showed hero mom Diaz Lopez pluck her young son from the car through the open front passenger window — and an older man in an orange shirt who was with McGonagle.

Sources now say the older man is McGonagle’s 55-year-old dad, also named James McGonagle. It’s unclear if the father knew his son would try to grab the boy.

After the scary incident, the younger McGonagle, of Pomonok, apparently made his way to Brookdale Hospital — where he punched an innocent bystander in the face, without provocation, the victim told The Post.

James McGonagle
James McGonagle was hit with a kidnapping charge, among others, in the crime.
The child's mom frantically fought off the suspect.
The child’s mom frantically fought off the suspect.

Police responded to the hospital after the alleged assault, and that’s when a sharp-eyed officer recognized McGonagle from the Crimestoppers video of the incident, the source said, and alerted detectives.

It’s unclear why McGonagle went to the hospital to begin with, but while there, he apparently spontaneously blurt out, “I attempted to kidnap a kid today,” sources said. The statement was apparently captured on one cop’s body camera footage.

Investigators reached out to James McGonagle’s mother, Cassandra, 53, who identified the pair as the two men in the attempted abduction.

McGonagle was admitted to the hospital’s psychiatric ward early Friday, police sources said.

An arraignment on the charges was postponed, police said, after McGonagle allegedly punched a cop as the officer attempted to fingerprint him Saturday morning. As a result, he’s still being held at Brookdale and is expected to face an additional charge of assaulting a police officer.

“You can’t go before the judge before we formally identify you and he won’t let us fingerprint him without knocking us in the face,” said the police source. “So he’ll be a guest of the government for the time being.”

Dolores Diaz Lopez holds her son Jacob at their home in Queens
Dolores Diaz Lopez holds her son, Jacob, at their Queens home on July 17, 2021.
Brigitte Stelzer for NY Post
Dolores Diaz Lopez hugs her children Zuriely, Jacob and Benny at their home in Queens.
Dolores Diaz Lopez hugs her children Zuriely, Jacob and Benny at their home in Queens.
Brigitte Stelzer

Police said Saturday they are looking for the elder McGonagle.

The younger McGonagle was charged with attempted kidnapping, reckless endangerment and acting in a manner injurious to a child in connection with the incident, the NYPD said.

Records show Cassandra McGonagle has been involved in fights with both her husband and son in the past.

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