An off-duty police officer arrested a man suspected of trying to abduct a two-year-old girl today.
The officer chased the suspect after he reportedly grabbed the toddler by her arm on a Costa Blanca seafront promenade.
He is then said to have ran off with the child – leaving her stunned family screaming for help.
The drama happened just after 10am this morning at a beach in Torrevieja, south of Alicante known as Playa del Cura, which is popular with British holidaymakers and expats as well as locals.
Local reports said the alleged child abductor, described as well-built and around 60-years-old, ran off with the girl in his arms before dumping her as he was intercepted by holidaymakers waiting near a tourism office.
He was pinned to the ground by the off-duty police officer and handed over to Civil Guard officers who were quizzing him this afternoon at a station in Torrevieja.
Two relatives who were with the child when the incident occurred, including her grandmother, were said to have received medical assistance at the scene after one suffered a panic attack.
They are thought to be from Eastern Europe.
The youngster at the centre of the drama is not believed to have been injured.
A similar incident took place in June, when British holidaymaker Blaise Deacon claimed a mystery blonde tried to snatch her 23-month-old girl Darcie at a hotel in Majorca.
Former Marks and Spencer worker Blaise, who comes from Biggin Hill near Bromley, Kent, and now runs her own cleaning firm, went on the the Internet after to warn other parents about her scare.
Reliving her experience she said: ‘As most of you know we are on holiday in Spain. It’s now day five and on our second day we had the worst thing happen to us.
‘Our 23-month-old daughter was nearly snatched from us.
‘A lady approached us at around 11pm as my daughter was on my lap and her dad had gone to the toilet.
‘The lady put her arms around her telling us that she was taking her. But I held on tight as my sister told her no.
‘When the women realised she wasn’t getting her she took off running.
‘I chased her and she run out of the hotel into a car.’