RPD is trying to determine how many people were involved in abduction of mother and son

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — After a mother and her 4-year-old son were taken by force from a home along Fulton Avenue in Rochester early Saturday morning, officers are trying to determine how many people were involved.

In the moments before that abduction, the suspect, 24-year-old Daniel Ponder, is also accused of shooting at a man connected to them.

Those gunshots led Rochester Police officers to respond. Officers learned about the abduction after talking with the victim, and neighbors and viewing video from the area. The abduction led to an Amert Alert for the mother and child.

RPD officers were able to find the mother and son at a home on Reynolds Street. About four hours later, the U.S. Marshal’s Task Force found Ponder on Wellington Street but he took off.

After a foot chase, officers were able to take him into custody. He’s charged with the initial shooting and the forcible abduction.

Rochester Police Lt. Greg Bello: “I’m very hesitant to get into a lot of specifics of how we tracked some of this information down. What I can say is this was not a random act of violence. This mom and the child, they do know Ponder, Daniel Ponder who was arrested for it. The mom does know Daniel Ponder, there was a relationship between the two.”

Investigative reporter Jennifer Lewke: “Do you believe he acted alone?”

Lt. Bello: “That’s what we’re trying to work through now. We have a forceful abduction. We’re trying to work through did anybody assist him with this and if they did, what was their role, and does that role rise to a criminal level.”

Lewke: “Lastly and most importantly, how are mom and son doing?”

Lt. Bello: “They’re doing well. They’re recovering. The issue beyond their physical health is also going to be their emotional and mental well-being and that’s what we’re trying to attempt to put them with resources to help them through this because I can’t imagine a 4-year-old or a parent going through this with their child.”

Ponder was arraigned on Sunday in Rochester City Court. He’s due back in court, early next month.