A young woman’s Mother’s Day should have been joyous this year: She had a new baby, born just two months ago, according to police.
But instead, the day nearly ended in tragedy when another woman tried to snatch the San Francisco mother’s infant from a stroller in city's Mission District on Sunday just after 6 p.m., police told Bay City News Service. Bystanders saw the attempted kidnapping unfold in broad daylight and quickly stepped in — and then the suspect, who is homeless, ran off with three others, police said.
Bystanders told ABC 7 that the suspect had been “growling” and was part of a group of other homeless people: “She was acting up," Patricia Morazan-Moore, who lives on the street where the kidnapping attempt occurred, told the TV station.
When police got to the scene, Diamond Harris, 23, was arrested, according to San Francisco jail records. She faces felony kidnapping and child endangerment charges, and is being held on $357,500 bond.
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Police also questioned the three people Harris tried to flee from the scene with, but the rest were released, Bay City News Service reports. The mother had been walking near the corner of 14th Street and Natoma Street when the woman came up to her, police said.
Neighbors described how they worked to stop the baby from being taken.
“There was an object in my hand to let her know you're not going to take the baby. You need to move down and get off my street,” neighbor Rex Moore told ABC, adding that the suspect “looked like she was under the influence of drugs.”
Locals also told the TV station that a homelessness problem has been roiling their neighborhood.
"We have vandalism,” Morazan-Moore told ABC 7. “We had people masturbating, urinating, defecating, encampments. Nothing is being done.”
The incident comes less than a month after San Francisco Mayor Mark Farrell announced the city would begin more aggressively clearing the sprawling homeless encampments that line some of the city's streets — starting in the Mission, where the attempted kidnapping occurred, the San Francisco Examiner reports.
“The conditions on our streets are simply unacceptable, and as mayor, I wanted to make sure it was one of my biggest priorities,” Farrell told the San Francisco Chronicle. “This is affecting everybody, and now as mayor, I have the ability to positively affect the conditions of our streets across the entire city.”
Farrell also proposed adding more than $12.5 million to street cleaning initiatives.
"We have to acknowledge that we have been moving from compassion on our streets to enabling street behavior,” Farrell told KTVU. “As mayor I am saying that is not okay.”
The infant was hospitalized after the incident as a precaution, ABC 7 reports, but is doing fine.
Harris also faces a misdemeanor charge for giving a false identification to police, Bay City News Service reports.