Irish mum shares "harrowing" experience after kids almost abducted in Turkey
"He threw a towel over her head and ran."
RTE Liveline listeners were left in shock yesterday after a Dublin mum recounted a terrifying ordeal abroad in which her kids were allegedly almost abducted.
Elaine, and her husband Phil, who were with their two kids aged 10 and 11, had been having a brilliant holiday in Turkey until things suddenly changed.
The pair were enjoying a night out when an alleged attempted kidnapping sent them into "pure and utter panic".
While chatting to some two couples they met from the UK, Elaine described how two men "came out of nowhere".
"Big, tall men, well over six foot," Elaine said. "They got down into my face and shouted 'shut the f**k up'. I said 'excuse me?' and they repeated 'shut the f**k up'.
"At that point I walked over to Phil because they were aggressive.
"The two men attacked Phil. It was absolutely horrendous, the children were screaming. They basically grabbed Phil in an arm each and tackled him to the ground. The other two guys who I had been speaking to, Dean and Mike, were trying to help Phil.
"In the midst of this I ran to grab my children. Another man came out of nowhere and was trying to pick up one of the other children that was there. He threw a towel over her head and ran.
"Phil was screaming at the top of his voice to get the kids back to the hotel. It was pure and utter panic."
The family managed to run as far as the hotel lobby and tried to get into the lift, but the men followed and tried to drag them out of it.
One of the children managed to kick one of the men, grab her sibling, and run to a nearby toilet to hide.
"This went on, it felt like hours. Eventually the police came in. As soon as they came in, everyone's demeanour changed." Phil explained. "The police never spoke to me. Something was pressed into the back of my head."
He told police what had happened but no arrests were made, leading him to suspect that the two men knew the police.
After finishing with police, he hid in a closet in the hotel for over an hour until he felt safe again.
Elaine said she still doesn't understand why the men targeted her and her husband, but she believes it was to create a distraction to try and abduct the children.
"It was the most harrowing experience we ever had," she said.