Man Arrested After Attempted Kidnapping Near Manhattan Deli

Katz's Delicatessen at 250 East Houston Street on the corner of Ludlow Street in the Lower East Side neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City, has been in business since 1888 (Wikipedia Commons)

Manhattan – A 46-year-old man was arrested Saturday night after he allegedly attempted to kidnap a 5-year-old boy outside Katz’s Delicatessen, a popular Manhattan establishment. The boy was walking with family members near the deli when he was grabbed by the man, identified later as Eric Visa, who attempted to run away with him.

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The child’s mother and other family members noticed and ran after Visa and he fled the scene but was later apprehended by police. He was charged with attempted kidnapping.

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3 years ago

Or I could just explain what actually happened that the report fails to mention…

1] I’m not a “creep with a top hat”. I’m actually a DJ at one of the neighboring spots and chose to wear a top hat as part of my attire that Labor Day weekend.

2] The kid was stepping in and out of the street while waiting for the mom to finish talking to a friend in what seemed to be an after-dinner situation. I noticed that no one was actually watching him closely and the he could be either hit by a cab (as cabs and Ubers were dropping off and picking up club-goers on Ludlow pretty aggressively as can be expected at that time of night at said location) or even perhaps kidnapped. So I thought to bring this to the mom’s attention by picking up the kid off the street and placing him on the pavement away from harm’s way.

3] Yes, I may have gestured that he could also be kidnapped to make my point, and yes – that was not the best judgement at the time knowing now that the mom would not see it that way.

4] I placed the kid on the pavement off the street before anyone knew what was going on, contrary to the false report that the mom chased me down the street. 

5] I thought nothing of this once I left the kid with his mom and continued on to my DJ gig, which ended at 3am. I was arrested as I walked back to my ride hours later (no one attempts to kidnap someone, fails at it and then hangs out at the scene for 5 hours. But what do I know. As stated, I’m not a kidnapper). 

6] In my opinion, my point was made and the kid was actually safer after this interaction given that he was off the street and out of harms way and that his mom paid more attention to him after this.

7] Yes, in hind sight I should have just verbalized my concerns. I get that. But please understand that I’m African and grew up in an environment where society was heavily involved in all the kids’ well-being. This gesture was purely a product of that mentality.

8] The NYPD detective upon an exhaustive investigation recommended to the DA’s office that this was not a kidnapping attempt based on everything that was uncovered about my identity. 

9] I’m happy to answer any questions about this should anyone need to engage. 

10] I still maintain that parents and guardians should keep a closer eye on their kids on Ludlow Street (or any other street) late on a Saturday night, if they have to be out there.