San Francisco

Man attempts to kidnap 2 boys from car in Castro [Updated]

A man was arrested last night after trying to kidnap two young boys from the backseat of a car in the Castro.

The attempted kidnapping occurred around 3 p.m. at 17th and Sanchez streets. Police say the man, 44, reached through the window of the car to grab the two boys, aged 2 and 4, from the back seat. 

A family member confronted the suspect and was able to call the police. Arriving officers found the suspect and arrested him. Officials said the boys were unharmed.

The suspect "is a person who has been known in the neighborhood for some time," said Tom Temprano, legislative aide to District 8 Supervisor Rafael Mandelman.

He said Mandelman was aware that the suspect is a "challenge to the neighborhood," but that his office hadn't heard about any incidents that were "quite this serious" in the past.

"This is a disturbing situation and we want to make sure that people in the neighborhood are safe," Temprano said.

Sanchez Elementary School is located on the block where the kidnap attempt took place, but the school is currently closed due to the COVID-19 shelter-in-place order.

Temprano invited affected family or neighbors to reach out to the Supervisor's office by email at

This isn't the first recent kidnapping attempt in the Castro. Last April, a man attempted to steal a 2-year-old boy from his mother's arms near Jane Warner Plaza.

The suspect, 34-year-old Roscoe Bradley Holyoake, was an Australian citizen who had previously been investigated for trying to enter a stranger's apartment in Sydney to play with their baby. He remains in custody, with his next court date set for July 1, according to SF County Jail records.

SFPD did not immediately reply to further questions. We will update this story if we learn more.

Update, 5:11 p.m.: SFPD has revealed the identity of the suspect: Timothy Stewart, Jr., 43, of San Francisco.

According to police, there were two adults in the car at the time of the incident — the father of both boys, and the mother of one of the boys. Stewart allegedly approached the parked car and "made several remarks" before reaching into an open back window and attempting to grab both children. The father confronted Stewart, who fled the scene.

Two hours later, around 5 p.m., the mother was walking on the sidewalk on 17th Street when she noticed Stewart following behind her. She called the police, who arrived and took him into custody.

Both parents said they had seen Stewart in the area several times prior to yesterday's incidents.

Stewart has been booked into the SF County Jail on charges of attempted kidnapping, assault, stalking, and possession of drug paraphernalia. 

17th Street, San Francisco, California 94110, United States, San Francisco, California, 94110, United States, San Francisco, CA

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