A 24-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of kidnapping an eight-year-old boy from Burgess last night.
Officers, including the National Police Air Service and the Mounted Branch were deployed to the area near Addington Square at 5.20pm after Southwark police issued an urgent appeal when the child’s family reported him missing.
Officers found the boy with an adult male stranger, who then attempted to flee police, kicking and spitting at them as they tried to detain him.
The 24-year-old suspect was arrested on suspicion of kidnap, two counts of assault on police, common assault, failing to appear at court and for being wanted ‘in relation to a separate matter outside of London’.
He remains in custody for questioning in a south London police station.
Officers say the boy was reunited with his family shortly after being found.
There are no other reports of injuries and the Met says they are not searching for any accomplices.
Enquiries into the full circumstances continue and a crime scene is still in place.
Both officers were taken to hospital for treatment and have now been discharged.
DS Paul Barham from Southwark CID said: “Child abductions like this are very rare.
“The boy involved has been reunited with his family.
“I am grateful for the members of public who reported this matter to police.
“I would also like to praise the resilience of the officers who chased and detained the suspect and kept him restrained despite him punching and kicking them and spitting in their face.
“Their efforts have taken a dangerous man off the streets.
“Their bravery and commitment to tackling this suspect is typical of the hundreds of response team officers in London who work 24/7 to catch criminals and put themselves in harm’s way to keep the public safe.”