Suspect in 'completely random' attempted abduction identified thanks to child's coat victim took from car boot

A child’s jacket that a woman grabbed from the boot of a car during an attempted abduction helped identify a suspect, it has emerged.

Suspect in 'completely random' attempted abduction identified thanks to child's coat victim took from car boot

A child’s jacket that a woman grabbed from the boot of a car during an attempted abduction helped identify a suspect, it has emerged.

Gardaí believe the suspect, a 20-year-old father-of-one, seemed to suddenly decide to abduct a woman after a night’s drug taking.

Officers are hoping DNA tests, including from the woman’s nails and clothes, and from the car, which gardaí also seized, will provide evidence linking the suspect to the abduction.

But it is not clear if they will have the results back in time to charge him before his detention period is up overnight, though it is likely he may be charged on other, separate, theft offences.

The victim, aged in her 60s, was going for a walk along Blackhorse Avenue, near Phoenix Park, at 7.30am on Monday when she passed a car with its boot open.

A man grabbed her and tried to bundle her into the boot, but she managed to keep her legs out of the boot, preventing him from closing it.

She was pulled out, during which she took with her a child’s jacket she had grasped in the boot. The attacker is then thought to have tried to push her into a passenger seat, but she managed to put up a fight.

A passing car came to a halt and the woman, a married mother of adult children, freed herself, still clinging onto the jacket. Her attacker then drove off.

She managed to give gardaí a partial registration number and a partial description of both the car, a silver family saloon, and the attacker, a man in his 20s, of strong build, and under 6ft in height.

A massive garda operation was put in place and officers were able to narrow the car down to just a couple of vehicles.

A search of the suspect’s car identified children’s clothing very similar to the item the woman had, the Irish Examiner understands.

The suspect, from Ongar, west Dublin, has a young child and is said to be in an “on/off relationship”.

He is only previously known for minor petty theft and drug offences and sources said there is nothing in his background to predict such a massive escalation in his crimes.

Sources said the attempted abduction was “completely random” and that the suspect had been “out all night” during which they suspect he consumed cocaine and cannabis and for some reason “got a notion” to abduct a woman.

He is thought to have been in text contact with female friends over the night and his phone will be technically examined.

“This was traumatic for the woman, but she is very lucky the way this went as there is no idea what would have happened,” said one garda source, citing previous cases.

The suspect was initially arrested today for a separate offence, regarding a “drive off” at a garage without paying for petrol.

Once they confirmed their suspicions, gardaí changed the detention to that of false imprisonment.

DNA samples have been taken from under the woman’s nails, and from her clothing, which detectives hope will generate a profile matching that of the suspect. Tests are also being conducted on the car boot for her DNA, on the suspect’s clothing and the child’s jacket.

The results of these may take some time to come back.

The suspect faces being charged tomorrow in relation to separate thefts offences, gardaí indicated.

Further examination of CCTV, dashcams, and Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras is being carried out to try and track the movements and locations of the car and identify the driver of it.

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