NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A suspect has been arrested after police say some good Samaritans helped rescue a mother and her 3-year-old daughter who were being attacked in the Bronx.
Christian Valdez, who is homeless, is facing charges of assault, burglary, harassment and acting in a manner injurious to a child, according to police.
The incident happened just after 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at a building on Cauldwell Avenue.
Sources tell CBS2 the 37-year-old mother knew the 28-year-old suspect from church, so the homeless man showed up to sleep at the apartment because the woman had allowed him to in the past, CBS2’s Reena Roy reported.
But this time she said no, which police say may have provoked the attack, Roy reported.
Police said after Valdez forced his way into the apartment, the woman grabbed her daughter and tried to get away by going out onto the fire escape.
The suspect followed her and that’s when police said he struck the woman with a glass bottle and wrestled the little girl away from her. When the woman tried to take her daughter back, police said Valdez threatened to throw her over the railing.
“She was cussing right here and the little girl, she was just trying to get her daughter to safety and get away from the situation,” one witness said. “I don’t know what he was doing up there. He was going crazy, the girl, she was hysterical. She was crying.”
That’s when two good Samaritans jumped in to help, climbing up the fire escape and grabbing the girl and bringing her and her mother down to safety.
“This was a bad situation,” witness Ronald Madina said. “A friend came and brung the baby down. You know, hopefully she’s alright.”
Police said Valdez stayed on the fire escape, where he was taken into custody by responding officers.
The woman suffered a puncture wound to her torso while the little girl had a laceration to her elbow. They were taken to the hospital in stable condition.