Homeless woman charged in attempted child abduction to be in court

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Josh Einiger has the story. (WABC)

A woman arrested in connection with an attempted child abduction in Central Park will be in court on Thursday.

Cecile Jackson, 35, is charged with attempted kidnapping, after trying to take a 2-year-old boy who was seated on a swing and leave the park with him.

Police said on May 12, the child's nanny stopped the suspect from leaving the park and took back the child. Jackson, a homeless woman, was taken into custody Tuesday on the west side of Central Park.

Police said she sat down on a park bench along Central Park West, between West 84th Street and West 85th Street, where two women and a child also sitting nearby saw her acting strangely and speaking incoherently. The two women alerted a nearby police officer who stopped her and brought her to the Central Park Precinct.

Jackson frequents the park, and police said she has a prior arrest in March for criminal contempt for refusing to leave an apartment.

"Scariest thing in the world," said Marco Maccioni, a parent.

"I guess I should stop looking at my phone," another mother said.

After the attempted kidnapping, there was a police presence, a group of auxiliary cops patrolling near the playground.

And parents said they frequently see officers stationed at the playground's only entrance, questioning adults who seem to be childless.

"Many times myself, my wife is already inside with the child, NYPD is here, 'who are you here for?' They say, 'Is your child inside?' I say 'yes,' and they wait for me to see, otherwise they ask me to exit the park," said Marco Maccioni, a parent.

"It's an open place. Anybody can come, you have to be alert. That's why I watch my daughter 24/7 because you never know anything can happen. We live in New York City," said Jamie Cruz, a parent.

The incident wasn't reported to police until Thursday.

Related Topics:
child abductionattempted abductioncentral parkplaygroundNew York City
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