34-year-old Australian DJ Roscoe Holyoake appeared for an arraignment in a San Francisco court on Thursday, and he entered a plea of not guilty to charges of kidnapping and child endangerment.
Holyoake's attorney, Deputy Public Defender Stephen Olmo, informed the court that Holyoake had "no evil intent" in grabbing a 32-year-old mother's 2-year-old son on a Castro District street last week. He was, Olmo said, "having some kind of break … a mental disengagement from reality," according to a courtroom report from Bay City News.
Olmo quoted friends of Holyoake in Australia who insisted that this act was "not in his character" — though it appears from a report yesterday by an Australian news organization that Holyoake had at least once, in recent months, had an equally disturbing and confusing encounter with the parent of a young child in Sydney whom he did not know.
We now have a slightly different description of the events that transpired last Friday via court documents: The mother apparently turned around to see Holyoake holding her son, "with his arms wrapped around the boy’s rear." She tried to physically pull the boy out of Holyoake's arms and a tug-of-war allegedly ensued, resulting in some red marks on the boy's arms. Holyoake did not run with the boy as was previously reported — according to the court filing, the mother successfully grabbed her son back, and it was only after this that Holyoake ran away. He was cornered and subdued about two blocks away, on Noe Street, by several bystanders at the original scene.
As Bay City News reports, Holyoake is apparently in the country on a visa that's good through 2023, and was staying in a hotel in SF while visiting friends here.
San Francisco Superior Court Judge Vedica Puri agreed with prosecutors and ruled to keep Holyoake in custody without bail.