by Michele Zipp
On Thursday, a 43-year-old nanny was walking around with the 8-month-old baby boy she cares for in his stroller. They were on 8th Avenue in New York City, near 17th Street in the Chelsea area -- a very busy neighborhood, and also quite safe. It was around 4 p.m. And that's when a stranger approached and began acting as if the baby was hers. That woman has since been identified as 46-year-old Tara Anne McDonald who has 12 prior arrests due to attempted kidnapping of infants in this same manner.
What adds to this terrifying event is that the nanny reportedly was yelling for help since McDonald was threatening and grabbing at the stroller, trying to push it down the street. At least 10 people who were passing by did nothing to help her. Until a UPS worker saw what was happening and ran to assist.
UPS driver William Marte helped the nanny as she held tightly onto the stroller's handle. McDonald was yelling, "Give me my baby," even though the baby was not hers. What a terrifying scene. And yet, all those people walked right by without doing anything. Why didn't people get involved? I understand how people fear certain situations -- and getting involved can get you hurt. But there was a baby involved here. McDonald ended up fleeing the scene.
Marte told reporters that he spoke to the mother after the nanny called her to tell her of the incident. He said "I do what I'm supposed to do. I'm also a father, I got two kids and I know what it is." Thank goodness he was there at that time. Thank goodness the nanny did all she could do to stop this from happening. And thank goodness the police have made a positive ID of this woman. Though she isn't in custody yet.
This is a reminder we all need to be vigilant at all times. We cannot live in fear, but we do have be aware of our surroundings, and try to have the clearest head when in crisis. Also, it takes a village -- help people if they are in need of help. If Marte didn't step in to help the nanny, I don't even want to think of what could have happened.
McDonald (seen in sketch above) is about 5-foot-8 inches tall with salt and pepper hair. She was wearing a light-colored coat, blue scarf, and blue jeans. If anyone knows anything about her whereabouts, please call 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).
Have you ever witnessed, experienced, or helped out in an incident similar to this?
Would YOU have tried to help?