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article imageAttempted abduction of toddler from store caught on tape

By Arthur Weinreb     Aug 20, 2016 in Crime
Braintree - An attempted abduction of a one-year-old child from a Braintree, Massachusetts store was captured by the store's surveillance cameras. The alleged abductor escaped but was later found and arrested.
The incident occurred on the evening of Aug. 12 at the South Shore India Market in Braintree but the store's surveillance video was recently obtained by CBS Boston.
The video shows a shirtless man carrying the toddler on his right shoulder like a sack of potatoes. Another man, the child's father, can be seen following him as the man with the child proceeds towards the back door. The father confronts the alleged abductor who then hands over the child. The potential abductor then leaves the store and goes into a wooded area behind the market.
The father told Mehtab Ahmed, an employee at the store, what happened and Ahmed called the police.
After Ahmed called police, he ran after the man who was then clinging to a tree in back of the store. He dropped down but still held onto the tree when police arrived and after a brief struggle was taken into custody. Stephen O'Brien, 47, has been charged with kidnapping and resisting arrest.
The parents said their son is just beginning to walk and they put him down to allow him to walk in the store. It was the first time he was allowed to walk in a public place. At first the parents thought the man who picked up their toddler was a store employee who was just playing with the child. But after he was obviously heading towards the back door, the father followed him.
Ahmed described the man picking up the child as "bizarre and unnatural." The store employee said he later asked the man why he did it but O'Brien just grunted.
Drugs probably explain O'Brien's bizarre actions in picking the boy up and later clinging to a tree. The Patriot Ledger reports at the time of the attempted abduction, O'Brien was on bail for trafficking in PCP (angel dust). Police noted he appeared to be high on drugs when arrested.
As Digital Journal previously reported, a similar incident was caught on tape in early July. A man opened the front door of a store, reached in, and grabbed a four-year-old girl who was standing near the door. The girl's mother ran after her daughter and grabbed her when the man lost his grip on the struggling child. This incident too was captured by surveillance cameras.
O'Brien is being held on $100,000 cash bail and is due back in court on Sept. 14.
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