A desperate mother was forced to battle for her daughter after a child snatcher attacked the pair in broad daylight.
The Taiwanese woman, known as Ms Wu, was walking her seven-year-old girl back from school in Taipei on Wednesday when the man suddenly struck.
CCTV video released by local police showed the attacker lurking in front of a restaurant before making his move.
As the pair moved past, he ambushed them, grabbing the girl and attempting to drag her away. The terrified mother screamed for help, forced into a human tug-of-war to prevent her child being abducted.
Nearby members of the public quickly came to her help and confronted the man, who had to withdraw.
The assailant, identified by police as 33-year-old Zhou, claimed it was a case of mistaken identity, and he thought Ms Wu and her child were people he knew.
But Ms Wu told Taiwan TV station SETN Zhou was attempting to choke her girl while she fought him off.
Police said they had sent Zhou for a medical assessment, and were continuing to investigate the attack.