News that a masked man tried to abduct an eight-year-old boy in broad daylight in a public park in Dublin has prompted worried parents there to keep a close eye on their kids.
Now Irish police fear that the man, who tried to snatch the child at Saint Anne’s Park in Raheny, may strike again.
The boy was playing with his football some distance from his father and older brother when a balaclava-wearing man jumped out from behind some bushes and tried to grab him.
The incident occurred on Sunday, February 27, while the boy's older brother played football nearby. The boy's father, who was distracted watching his older son's match, was horrified when the boy told him that a strange man had tried to kidnap him.
"He was playing around with a ball on an opposite pitch 100 yards away from us when a man came out of the bushes wearing a balaclava and shouted Get over here you," the boy's father told The Herald.
"He was just kicking a ball around in plain sight when this guy tried to grab him. We are just relieved he got away and thank God he was smart enough to turn and run."
The young boy is now assisting Dublin police with their enquiries. His attempted attacker was described as wearing blue jeans, a dark brown top and a black jacket. He had his face covered with a balaclava. He is believed to have fled the scene in a wine-colored transit van.