A young mother in Staten Island watched in horror as a thief drove away with her 3-month-old baby boy she had left in her running car.
As reported by the New York Post, the mother, Christine Grosso, dashed in to her neighborhood dunkin donuts around 10 a.m on Saturday November 19th, 2016. While watching from inside of the store, she was shocked when a man on a red bicycle jump into her unlocked Ford Edge and speed off with the baby still in the back car seat.
Police officers immediately responded to the scene and broadcasted a BOLO to radios across Staten Island and Brooklyn, where the car thief/kidnapper was suspected to be heading.
The thief drove over the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and into Sunset Park where he abandoned the car and took off on foot, police said. The Ford Edge was found within an hour with little Liam sitting in the backseat, crying but unharmed.
“I’m very happy he’s home!” Grosso said, sobbing as she rushed back to her Bleeker Place house on Saturday afternoon with her baby. The dad, Mike Keller expressed his relief as well saying, “I was in shock. I didn’t cry. It was shock.”
“I’m happy that he was found very, very fast. It was scary,” the dad said. “What I want to say to the person who did this — it wouldn’t be in the news.
The boy’s grandmother, Joanne Grosso, who lives with the couple, said that not knowing where Liam was for an hour had left her daughter Christine “hysterical”. “I told my daughter — and I’m doing it myself — get down and thank God,” Joanne Grosso said.
The suspect, identified as 46 year old Kenneth Byrnes, was arrested around noon on Monday November, 21, 2016 and charged with third-degree grand larceny, first-degree unlawful imprisonment and acting in a manner injurious to a child less than 17, police said.
Byrnes of Toms River, NJ has 29 prior arrests including grand larceny robbery and burglary with his most recent arrest for burglary in October of this year.
Feeling as if the mother “has suffered enough”, an investigator from Brooklyn’s 72nd Precinct told The Post that she will not be charged for leaving the baby unattended.
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