A Victorian mother has told of the “terrifying” moment she had to pull her toddler away from a stranger at a playground, as the man looked her “dead in the eyes”.
Julia, who chose to keep her surname anonymous, took her five children to Centenary Park in Yinnar about 1.45pm on May 5 and was watching her 18-month-old daughter play on an in-ground trampoline.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Mum fights back after stranger allegedly tries to snatch toddler.
Watch the latest news and stream for free on 7plus >>
She said that is when the man grabbed the little girl.
“(It was) terrifying … she’s so little,” Julia told 7NEWS.
“At that point, I jumped up and just grabbed her legs and yanked her back. I’m pretty sure I hurt her in the process, but I just wanted to get her back off him.”
The toddler suffered cuts to her legs as Julia desperately pulled her away from the man.
Julia told police the stranger was alone at the park and did not respond when she asked him what he was doing.
“He said nothing. He just looked at me dead in my eyes,” she said.
“But even when I said: ‘Can I help you?’ (he said) nothing, he didn’t say one word.”
Julia said she rushed her children to the car to call triple-0 and police believe the man fled towards the public toilets.
“She’s just so little. I couldn’t imagine what anyone would want with such a little baby,” Julia said.
On Thursday morning, police released a photo of a man they wish to speak to.
Later in the day, a 45-year-old man from Moe presented himself to police and was interviewed over the incident.
He was released pending further inquiries and the investigation remains ongoing.
If you’d like to view this content, please adjust your .