WELLAND – Niagara Regional Police have arrested a man who they say attempted to snatch a five-year-old boy from his mother’s grip while out shopping, Sunday afternoon.
The incident happened around 2 p.m. inside Zeller’s at the Seaway Mall, in Welland.
Investigators say the mother was holding her son’s hand while walking through the store’s toy section when she felt tugging on the grasp of her son’s hand.
The mother turned to find a man pulling on her son’s other hand “in an attempt to take him from her.”
Police say the mother yelled at the man, who then tried to flee.
The man was quickly captured by the child’s father, who then turned over him over to Zeller’s management.
Managers escorted the man to the parking lot, where police say he managed to flee the area southbound toward Woodlawn Road.
Charged with abduction of a person under 14 years of age is Steven Hozjan, 44, from Pelham. Hozjan was held pending a bail hearing today at the Robert S.K. Welch courthouse in St. Catharines.
Parents are reminded to remain vigilant and to keep a close eye on their children while in public places, in particular during this busy holiday season.
Information on crimes can be submitted anonymously using Crime Stoppers of Niagara. To leave an anonymous tip, please contact Crime Stoppers via: Telephone: 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) Online: www.niagaratips.com Text: 274637 (CRIMES), keyword ‘Niagara’, then your tip. Crime Stoppers guarantees that you will remain anonymous through any of the methods offered to provide tips. You may also be eligible to receive a cash reward of up to $2,000 if the information leads to an arrest.