Shocking footage of the moment a child abduction is thwarted in broad daylight has surfaced online.
CCTV cameras at a pizzeria in Florida, Johannesburg, captured the entire incident, which took place about 5pm on Thursday (local time).
In the vision, a 24-year-old man appears to grab a four-year-old girl by the neck in front of her mother.
In the video, two women are sitting with the child when the man suddenly appears outside Bella Napoli restaurant.
Suddenly, the man jumps over the railing and can be seen heading straight for the child.
The man, who has since been arrested according to local media, could also be seen violently grabbing the child around her neck.
The woman sitting opposite the young girl leaps across the table to protect the child.
Bystanders and diners close by can be seen leaping into action, prying the man away from the child and tackling him to the ground.
It’s unclear whether the man was known to the two women or the child.
Horrified social media users have been circulating the video since it was shared 16 hours ago.
A follow-up video was also posted, showing the suspect laying on the ground as blood trickles down his face.
Police confirmed that the violent incident took place one day earlier on Thursday 10 September.
SAPS Captain Kay Makhubela told local news outlet The South African that the man grabbed a four-year-old child by her neck as though he wanted to take her.
“It is alleged that on [10 September 2020] at about 17:00 the complainant was at the Pizza Shop in Florida with her four-year-old child when an unknown male came and grabbed the child by her neck as if he wanted to take her,” said Makhubela.
“The mother and the child screamed and with the help of the shop owner and the community, the suspect was apprehended,” he added.
The 24-year-old suspect was arrested and appeared in the Roodepoort Magistrate’s Court on Friday morning and was charged with assault, reports News24.