Family say man ‘snatched’ baby in Dagenham

A family who say their four-month-old baby was snatched from his pram have spoken of their terrifying ordeal.

Lauren Oliver, 18, was walking along Monmouth Road, Dagenham, with her nephew Ralphy Orsini, when the child was allegedly taken by a man.

Lauren told how she gave chase when he ran off with the baby, and screamed for help.

When the suspect reached Westfield Road, off-duty PCSO Tracy Lord, and members of the public heard Lauren’s cries and wrestled the man to the ground, holding him until police arrived. Ralphy was taken to hospital and apart from some bruising was unhurt.

Lauren described the alleged incident last Wednesday evening, as “something from a horror movie”.

She added: “I couldn’t believe it.

“At one point I thought ‘this is it, I’ll never see him again’.”

Most Read

Ralphy’s mum and Lauren’s sister, Charlotte, 21, who was at their home in Dagenham when the child was allegedly taken, said she has been left “shocked and shaken”.

“I’m relieved he’s OK, but can’t believe this happened. It’s so horrible to think I could have lost my son. I’m now terrified of taking him out anywhere.”

She thanked PCSO Lord and the residents who helped them.

Supt Gary Buttercase, of Barking and Dagenham Police, stressed the abduction was an “isolated incident” and “a very unusual crime” for the borough.

He added: “I would like to commend all those involved in the detainment of this individual. PCSO Lord is a credit to herself, her Safer Neighbourhoods Team and the police service.”

PCSO Lord, who works for Alibon ward, has previously featured in the Post after chasing and catching a cash point robber.

She received a commendation from the police.

A 23-year-old man was arrested for assault and abduction and awaits a mental health assessment.