BOSTON (CBS) – A Boston woman has been arrested and charged with attempted kidnapping after trying to abduct a boy at a Cambridge bus stop and attacking his family as they tried to stop her.
Belinda Ward says she has never been so frightened for her five-year-old son Demetrius as the total stranger, she says, suddenly made a grab for him. Her family was waiting for the number 47 bus in Central Square Monday night heading home to Boston from a birthday party. “I felt like she was trying to snatch my son out of my hand,” Ward tells WBZ-TV.
Thirty-six-year-old Danyelle Abrams faced the charge in court today, where a court psychiatrist described her as “paranoid” and “harbors some delusions regarding her kids in foster care.” But the family says Abrams was persistent following the boy and his family onto the bus, harassing them and engaging in a shouting match.
“I turned around said ‘don’t touch my son,’” said Ward. “She said, ‘this isn’t your son, this is my son.”
The family tells a harrowing story of trying to move Demetrius to a window seat to shield him, but she kept following. “She started lifing the boy up, I had to push him back down,” said his great aunt Denisa Ward. “That’s when Demetrius got scared and started crying, ‘Auntie please protect me’,” she said.
In the meantime, she says Abrams assaulted a 15-year-old cousin striking her in the head. All the while, they claim the MBTA driver did little to help. “I ran down to the bus driver and asked him to call the police but he said he didn’t have a phone,” said Demetrius’ grandmother Stephanie Thomas.
It’s a charge Transit Police say they’ll investigate, but Superintendent-in-Chief Joseph O’Connor says there is protocol. “We don’t want employees to get physically involved. We want them to make good observations and report what they see,” he said.
The family claims it was another passenger who called 9-1-1 and the driver never turned on emergency lights. In court today, Abrams shouted to the judge, “They’re setting me up,” before being quieted by her attorney.
She’s been ordered to undergo a psychiatric evaluation. Abrams was arrested Tuesday following a separate incident in which she allegedly kicked in the window of a Silver Line bus at Dudley Square, and assaulted another bus driver in the South End.