Suspect in custody for abduction attempts near Philadelphia school identified

PHILADELPHIA - February 26, 2014

Philadelphia police say 36-year-old Tyrone Ferguson, is the man who tried to kidnap two children in the last week near the Mary McLeod Bethune School in North Philadelphia.

He turned himself into police at 9:00 p.m. Tuesday. Investigators say his motivation remains a mystery.

Action News spoke to Ferguson's mother, who asked not to be identified.

"The allegations are false and I feel sorry for what happened to the children and I hope whoever is doing this gets caught real soon," she said.

However police say the young victims identified Ferguson.

Action News was there as Special Victims Unit (SVU) investigators knocked down the door to his home on the 3600 block of Warnock Street on Tuesday.

It is right around the corner from West Venango Street, where police say the man grabbed an 8-year-old boy Monday. The boy's sister tried to fight the man off.

During the struggle a group of school kids threw large rocks at the suspect. In fact, in his mug shot we could see what appears to be an injury on the right side of his head.

Ferguson's mother says he got that two weeks ago from a slip and fall on an ice-covered sidewalk.

"My son has five children of his own. You know he has his shortcomings but to mess with children is unbelievable," she said.

A week ago, investigators say Ferguson grabbed a 10-year-old girl while she was walking home from school but she was also able to get away.

"Motivation for this individual. I can't get into these individuals heads. What was significant to us was the escalation of his efforts," said Capt. John Darby, Philadelphia Police Special Victim's Unit.

Parents from Mary McLeod Bethune School say the threat will never go away.

"I'm glad that they did something fast. It happened in a few days and in a few days they caught him," said Raisha Kennedy.

Ferguson grew up in the area and police say more than a decade ago, he was charged with corrupting a minor and drug charges.

Now he's been charged with a long list of new crimes including attempted kidnapping.

Copyright © 2024 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.