Mom fights off black child snatcher
Virginia Keppler, Beeld
Pretoria - A young mother from Mooikloof east of Pretoria screamed hysterically while she clung to the feet of her two-year-old son to prevent a black man from grabbing him through her broken car window.
According to the mother, a 22-year-old psychology student who was too scared to be identified, her child's whole body was already out the window when she grabbed his foot.
Her mother, 42, said on Sunday that her daughter had stopped behind another car at a red light in De Villebois Maruil Drive between 18:00 and 18:30 on Friday night.
"A black man came from behind her vehicle but she thought it was a beggar. Her doors were locked and her window was closed," the crying grandmother told.
She said the man walked up to the front window on the passenger side and looked into the car.
"The baby was lying on the front seat and was fastened with the safety belt. He was about to fall asleep when the man broke the window with a spark plug and grabbed him. My daughter got hold of one of his feet and pulled him back.
"She kept screaming while she clung to her baby's foot. She said: 'Mamma, God was in the car and helped me pull because I wouldn't have been able to do it on my own.'"
She said no one, not even the people in the car in front of her, tried to help her.
While the mother and the man fought over the child, she kept screaming.
"The man must have gotten a fright because he let go of the baby and ran off. My daughter immediately drove to our house in Garsfontein (in eastern Pretoria). She called me on the phone and shouted: 'Open the gate!' When she got here, she and the baby were crying. My grandchild was covered in shards of glass."
Laptop, handbag untouched
She said her grandchild had definitely been the target, as her daughter's laptop and handbag on the back seat had been left untouched.
"My grandchild is now too scared to get into a car. He can't sleep and keeps saying 'please don't take me'.
"I think until the soccer is over, children aren't safe. We want to warn people to be careful with their children."
Police spokesperson Warrant Officer Duane Lightfoot said police were on the scene. A case of malicious injury to property and assault were being investigated.