Schuylerville, NY

Schuylerville Residents Rescue Toddler From Abduction

Synthia Stark

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Edited screenshot of the surveillance footage.New York Post

A couple of days ago, a stranger in Schuylerville tried to abduct a vulnerable 3-year-old toddler girl. The girl had been walking with her grandmother along one street corner. It seems that the plan of the abductor was thwarted by some innocent people nearby.

Specifically, there was a 65-year-old grandmother. She was with this little girl (her granddaughter) and her two grandsons at around 1:20 PM. They were at the corner of East Tremont Avenue and Baisley Avenue in Schuylerville.

You can see the fiasco as it unfolded in this surveillance tape:

As you can see, a 27-year-old male stranger tried to throw a comforter over the toddler's head, picked her right up, and attempted to flee. Running down the block, the grandmother had yelled, alerting many people nearby.

The grandmother reportedly yelled:

"Help! He’s taking my little girl!"

The onlookers rushed to confront the stranger, who then put the child down and sped away on his scooter.

Meanwhile, there was a gas station just outside of all this. Specifically, it was the BP gas station on E. Tremont Avenue. A 63-year-old employee, Fermin Bracero, witnessed the situation and sprung into action.

As Fermin initially noted:

“I was sweeping outside, when all of a sudden this lady passed by with three kids… the guy [the stranger] grabbed her from there. I’m like, for me, I thought it was family joking around.”

When he heard the screams of the grandmother, he realized what he was seeing was a kidnapping. He saw that the stranger physically grabbed the little girl.

Fermin and a bunch of others ran after the stranger angrily. The stranger then let the girl go and walked back to his scooter. The scooter was parked by a cemetery, also on Tremont.

Fermin noted that after the stranger took off, for at least a quarter of a mile, the stranger then stepped off it as if nothing had just happened earlier.

"He just kept walking like it was nothing. He was homeless. That was crazy.” 

Later on, the police managed to catch the stranger. The stranger's name is Santiago Salcedo. He was charged with endangerment to a child, kidnapping, and more. On the upside, the stranger was taken into custody so he will not be able to hurt anyone else for the time being.

When it comes to our children, including those of us in New York, we just have to be super vigilant. We have to hope that the people around us will step in to help us, just as those good people did when the grandmother was screaming. Only time will tell if things will get better or worse from here.

For now, here are some additional tips to avoid getting stuck in a terrible situation like this:

  • Walk within big family groups
  • Walk within big public places that are well-lit and have many witnesses
  • Make sure there are cameras nearby
  • Have you and your children sign up for ongoing self-defense classes
  • Learn CPR

While it's unfortunate that this happened, at least the girl, her siblings, and her grandmother are now safe and sound.

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