Popular Australian DJ Roscoe Holyoake is behind bars at the San Francisco Hall of Justice after he attempted to abduct a young boy who was walking down the street with his mother on April 12. Holyoake, 34, has been charged with kidnapping and child endangerment, two felonies that can carry lengthy prison sentences. The San Francisco Chronicle is reporting that the two-year-old suffered minor injuries but did not require medical treatment.
Here’s what you need to know about Roscoe Holyoake and his recent kidnapping attempt.
1. Eyewitnesses Saw Holyoake Snatch the Boy in Broad Daylight
According to witnesses, the mother and toddler were walking hand-in-hand near Market and Noe streets in San Francisco. The mother was also carrying an infant in a front pack. Holyoake suddenly appeared and grabbed the little boy. The mother began to scream “Police! Police! Help me!” But Holyoke would not let go of her son.
The little boy’s mother chased Holyoake and was eventually able to pry her son away. After finally letting go of the little boy, witnesses say Holyoake smiled and then ran off. Bystanders chased him down and as they closed in he gave up, got down on his knees and put his hands up against the wall.
2. Holyoake Was Apprehended by Citizens Arrest
Several shocked onlookers witnessed the kidnapping and immediately jumped into action to rescue the toddler. Once Holyoake began to flee, witness Adam Walker revealed that he and other good Samaritans followed in pursuit for two blocks until Holyoake eventually surrendered.
— Michael Barba (@mdbarba) April 16, 2019
Once he was captured, Holyoake said “All right, I’m done,” then got down on his knees and placed his hands on the wall without a struggle. Walker, along with the other individuals who apprehended Holyoake, made a citizen’s arrest on the scene.
Australian television station KTVU interviewed two families who witnessed the attempted abduction. “If no one got him, and he got away with it, it could have been anyone else’s child the next time,” said one man. Adam Walker made a similar comment to the station. “When you have a child of your own, and you see something like that happen, something else just kind of takes over And you kind of act from your heart and not necessarily from your brain,” he explained.
3. No Motive Has Been Given for the Abduction Attempt
Holyoake has not provided any public explanation for his bizarre behavior or motive for his actions. During his court appearance on Tuesday, Holyoake kept his head down and did not speak to the judge after she read the charges against him. During his five-minute court appearance, bail was set at $500,000 and the judge issued a restraining order mandating that Holyoke not go within 150 yards of the victim or the mother.
In an attempt to defend his client, Public Defender Steve Olmo gave several possible explanations to Australia 9 News for his client’s arrest. “Overzealous police work, mistaken identity, wrong place, wrong time, wrong color….lots of clients of a darker persuasion, I don’t see cameras out here when they’re arrested,” he said. Olmo added that Holyoake was in town for business and had no previous criminal history. His next court appearance is set for April 18.
4. Police Recently Took Holyoake for Obersvation After He Tried to Interact With a Baby in Sydney
While Holyoake’s attorney said his client has no criminal record, this isn’t the first time the popular DJ has run into problems with the law. On April 17, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that New South Wales (NSW) police responded to an incident last February where Holyoake was found at a Sydney apartment complex asking permission to play with a stranger’s child.
NSW police said they interviewed Holyoake, who had asked to come inside the apartment to play with the baby. The resident refused but Holyoake remained outside the door. When the resident demanded to know why Holyoake wanted to see the infant, he made a comment that resulted in a group of neighbors chasing him down the street and restraining him until police arrived. Police transported Holyoake to Royal Prince Alfred Hospital for observation.
5. Reports Say Holyoake Moved to the U.S. to Advance his Music Career
Also known as DJ Roski, Holyoake is a well-known Australian DJ and is the resident DJ at Connections Nightclub in Perth. In addition to his DJ duties, Holyoake also coordinated “All Things Queer,” a popular and long-running Australian radio show that interviews politicians, musicians, and celebrities.
Holyoake is also known as a LGBTQ activist, previously serving for two years as a committee member of Pride Western Australia. “The current allegations and reported behavior appear to be very out of character. However, we simply do not know enough at this time to provide any further comment,” Pride Western Australia said in a recently issued public statement. The organization said that Holyoke had been on their board but had recently moved the United States to advance his career as a DJ.
“We appreciate that this is a very concerning time for the alleged victims and Roscoe’s family. Right now our sympathy is with them during this difficult time,” Pride Western Australia said.
His website, DJRoski.com, describes Holyoake as A disc jockey who will play anything from “disco to techno with a total disregard for what is commercial, and what is underground.” The website goes on to describe him as “a true artist in a world that needs to let its hair down more than ever.”