herald

Tuesday 18 December 2018

Brave Brandon (4) flees driver in abduction bid

GARDAI are investigating two attempted daylight child abductions in west Dublin.

The first abduction bid happened outside a house at Lally Road, Ballyfermot, at around 3pm last Saturday.

It is understood that a man with blond hair and driving a silver car called the boy out of his grandmother's garden to give him a toy.

However the boy, Brandon Brereton (4), screamed and ran away.

Investigators say they are treating the matter "very seriously".

In another incident at nearby Clondalkin, at lunchtime on Thursday, a mother struggled with a man as he tried to grab her infant in the car park of Dunnes Stores.

"Everyone thought he was trying to grab her handbag first. He did get the child, but she fought and fought until she got the child back," an eyewitness told the Herald.

"I heard the poor woman screaming 'my baby, my baby'. The girl was totally distraught. She had a little child in a buggy and she had to leave him as trying and fight for her other baby."

Gardai confirmed they arrested a man a short time later on the Nangor Road. He was later released without charge and a file sent to the DPP.

"A male picked up and tried to walk away with a child. The mother pulled the child back and the man ran away from the scene," said a garda spokesman.







Vigilant

No arrests have yet been made over the Ballyfermot incident and Brandon's grandmother Breda Thomas has now appealed for locals to be vigilant.

"Brandon was here with his brothers Alex (7) and Callum (9), and while they were playing up the road, Brandon was in my garden on his little bike," she said.

"Then a car pulled up and a man called him out and Brandon went out to see what he wanted. He offered Brandon a toy in a bag. It was a Princess Fiona toy from Shrek, like what you'd get in a fast food place, and Brandon took it.

"Then the man said he had more toys and told him to get into the car, but Brandon said no, and ran up the road to his uncle's house and ran in. The man followed him in the car but drove away when he saw Brandon go into the house," said Breda. The alarm was raised and the gardai were called, and Brandon's family sat him down to see if they could get him to describe the man in the car.

From their talks with him it was determined that the man was driving a silver car, was in his 20s or 30s, had short blond hair, blue eyes.

He may have a "lazy" eye, and is slim in build.

"We're all shocked. I have them all trained not to approach any strangers and not to get into any cars, and to scream if anyone comes near them," said Breda.

The gardai now have the toy that Brandon was given, as well as the bag that it was in.

The Brereton family live at Drumfinn Avenue, Ballyfermot. Last year Brandon's dad Darren died from a brain tumour -- a tragedy his mother Lisa (28) is still coming to terms with.

Darren Brereton was just 36 when he lost a brave six-year battle with cancer in May of last year. TD Robert Dowds says the community is shocked by the abduction bid.







Playing

A Lally Road resident told the Herald: "I heard the boy had been visiting up he road and was out playing with some of the local kids he would know when he was approached."

"I have three kids myself and I won't let them outside the gate now. This kind of thing has never happened here before on this road," she added.

"We heard it was a blond man in a silver car that had stopped the lad. It's terrible," said the concerned mother.

Anyone with information is asked get in contact with Ballyfermot Garda Station at 01 666 7200.

hnews@herald.ie

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