Bystanders stop stranger who snatched 2-year-old on busy San Francisco street, cops say

Roscoe Bradley Holyoake
Roscoe Bradley Holyoake San Francisco Police Department

Strolling down Castro Street with their son Friday in downtown San Francisco, Adam and Sabrina Walker heard a woman screaming for police, KGO reported.

A man had snatched the woman’s 2-year-old son from behind as she walked with him and an infant strapped to her chest, The San Francisco Examiner reported. The woman tried to wrestle the boy away from the stranger as onlookers gaped in the 12:30 p.m. incident.

“He stopped and gave the boy back to the mom,” Adam Walker said, KTVU reported. “And then he turned and smiled at us and took off running down the street.”

Walker, a San Francisco dentist, gave chase, according to the station.

“I think my fatherly instincts kicked in and I did what I thought was right,” he said.

He and other bystanders cornered the man a few blocks away, The San Francisco Examiner reported. The man surrendered to Walker, who held him against a wall until police arrived.

“Out in broad daylight when it’s so crowded, this was a very, very scary experience,” Sabrina Walker said, KTVU reported.

Roscoe Bradley Holyoake, 34, a DJ from Perth, Australia, faced kidnapping charges in the incident, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported.

Holyoake, who performs as DJ Roski, has played at the Sydney Mardi Gras and a Perth nightclub, the network reported.

San Francisco police say they don’t know what prompted Holyoake to grab the toddler and are continuing to investigate, KTVU reported.

The boy’s 32-year-old mother was injured in the incident but declined medical attention, The San Francisco Examiner reported.

“It could have very easily been my child, and if he wasn’t caught it could have been my child next,” Adam Walker said, according to the publication.

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Don Sweeney has been a newspaper reporter and editor in California for more than 25 years. He has been a real-time reporter based at The Sacramento Bee since 2016.