A St. Louis man was caught on surveillance video allegedly trying to grab a baby from a mother’s arms during what police described as a string of “random attacks” on strangers, the Daily Mail reported on Sunday.
The man, later identified by police as 19-year-old Anthony McGee, is accused of going on to break an 82-year-old woman’s arms. Police said McGee also hit another woman with a glass bottle before trying to snatch the baby. The incidents occurred in the Central West End neighborhood just before 9 a.m. last Sunday.
The surveillance footage shows the mother carrying her 11-month-old with the father walking beside them as they cross the street. Then, a man in a gray hoodie starts to cross alongside the family suddenly lunging in what looks like an effort to grab the child. The video shows the mother holding onto her baby as the father fights him off and chases him out of frame.
Several witnesses called the police and tried to stop the attacks, KMOV reported. One witness told the news outlet she heard a woman screaming and saw McGee restraining the 82-year-old woman.
“I heard someone screaming, a woman screaming,” said a woman who lives in apartments near the location of the incident. “When I looked out the window, I saw the woman, and she was held and restrained by a man.”
The witness told the outlet she saw McGee try to flee when police arrived, but he was apprehended.
McGee is facing several charges, including multiple assault charges, resisting arrest, criminal action, endangering the welfare of a child, and kidnapping, according to the report.
McGee has been accused previously of attacking random strangers.
“Just two weeks ago, police in Clayton, a neighboring area, arrested McGee after they said he punched a victim who was walking down the street,” according to the report. “In the Clayton case, McGee was charged with a misdemeanor and released. After the Central West End attacks, he is now being held without bond.”
Jim Whyte, head of the Central West End Neighborhood Security Initiative, said their surveillance cameras caught several parts of the Sunday attack and said he hopes the footage will help keep McGee in jail.
“We had some brief dealings with him on a previous incident,” Whyte said. “Our homeless outreach team has engaged this young man on a number of occasions trying to get him services because he appears to be homeless.”