By Constantinos Psillides
THE 29-YEAR-OLD who attempted to kidnap a three-year-old boy near a café at the Phaneromeni area in Nicosia was remanded in custody by the Nicosia District Court on Monday for six days.
The incident took place at around 5pm on Sunday. According to police, the 29-year-old grabbed the child while in a full sight of his mother who started screaming and calling for help.
The man tried to run away with the child but was stopped by other customers as the café and the surrounding area were at the time brimming with people.
The child was not injured. The customers detained the 29-year-old and handed him over to police.
Investigations revealed the suspect was mentally ill and had been treated at the Athalassa psychiatric hospital in the past.
The 29-year-old’s condition was confirmed by the Apliki village community leader Andreas Sykopetritis, in a statement he made to news website Cyprustimes.com .
Sykopetritis claimed that he had known the 29-year-old all his life and that it was only a matter of time before he commited such an act.
“Lives are in danger, I assure you of that. He was always causing trouble and things took a turn for the worse over the last few months. His neighbours are terrified,” said Sykopetritis, explaining that the 29-year-old had mental issues since he was a child and that he was also a drug addict.
“I’m going to visit the Nicosia police headquarters and demand that something is done with him. We cannot wait for something bad to happen,” he said.