During this morning’s commute, a woman allegedly tried to kidnap a two-year-old girl from another woman on an Orange Line train heading to New Carrollton as it approached the Foggy Bottom–GWU Metro station. A group of passengers subdued the aggressor and held her down until Metro Transit Police arrived.

Richard Jordan, a spokesperson for Metro, confirmed that the suspect is being held in custody but hasn’t yet been charged with a crime. The woman, he says, attempted to remove the young girl from a stroller before witnesses intervened; the train was offloaded, and the victims are okay.

“It all happened really fast,” says Matt Paolillo, who was riding on the first car of the train and was able to witness the incident, at the front of the second car, through glass windows. “I’ve been living in the District for about five years. I feel like I’ve seen your normal ruckus—drunken altercations, people acting high or weird [on Metro]—but I’ve never seen something like this.”

Paolillo adds that he missed the first few seconds of the incident but saw three to four passengers sitting on “a large African-American person” next to the first doors of the second car. When the train pulled into Foggy Bottom, passengers filed out and some screamed, he says. About three officers were on the scene “very quickly,” although Paolillo didn’t see them arrest the woman.

DCist reports that another witness, Brandon Carroll, saw “this baby in the air, and a woman was screaming ‘my baby, my baby.’” The suspect apparently resisted a man trying to restrain her.

“I don’t have kids, but I think anyone would be pretty concerned about this,” Paolillo explains.

Update 3:30 p.m.: Jordan, the Metro spokesperson, says the suspect has been arrested and is being charged; however, she is not cooperating with police and is being registered as a Jane Doe. Fingerprint tests may confirm her identity, Jordan added.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery