Perth DJ Roscoe Holyoake pleads not guilty to kidnapping child on San Francisco street


April 19, 2019 16:07:34

An Australian DJ accused of attempting to snatch a two-year-old boy off a San Francisco street may have suffered from “disengagement from reality”, according to his US lawyer.

Key points:

  • Roscoe Holyoake is accused of kidnapping a toddler who was walking with his mother
  • His alleged actions may have been due to “having some kind of break”, a lawyer says
  • Mr Holyoake faces up to eight years in a US prison if convicted

Roscoe Holyoake, a 34-year-old from Perth known as DJ Roski, entered not guilty pleas to kidnapping and child endangerment charges on Thursday.

He remains in San Francisco County Jail after Superior Court Judge Vedica Puri sided with prosecutors and ruled to keep him in custody without bail.

Mr Holyoake’s lawyer, Stephen Olmo, told the Bay City News Service he had been in touch with his client’s family and friends in Australia, who all said the allegations did not match his character.

“There was no evil intent,” Mr Olmo said.

The lawyer said Mr Holyoake’s alleged actions may have been the “result of having some kind of break … a mental disengagement from reality”.

Prosecutors have alleged the incident occurred last Friday, when a mother was pushing a stroller on San Francisco’s 17th Street and her young son was following closely behind her.

When the mother was putting her mobile phone in her pocket, she allegedly saw Mr Holyoake carrying her son with his arms wrapped around the child’s buttocks.

A “tug of war over the child” then allegedly began between Mr Holyoake and the mother, who yelled “what are you doing?”.

Toddler allegedly released after struggle

Mr Holyoake allegedly released the boy after the struggle, smiled and ran away, but bystanders chased him and held him until police arrived.

The boy suffered redness on his arms.

Mr Holyoake faces up to eight years in prison if convicted.

The DJ recently played at the Sydney Mardis Gras as well as at a wrap party for comedian Tim Minchin’s new mini-series Upright.

Mr Holyoake has worked as a DJ at Connections Nightclub in Perth, and as a volunteer presenter at Perth community radio station RTRFM on and off over the past five years.

RTR confirmed earlier this week he was involved sporadically as a presenter of a weekly show called All Things Queer, discussing LGBTI community issues.

Mr Holyoake was also a board member of Pride WA for two years before standing down in February.







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