New York Police Department officers have arrested a man they say was caught on video snatching a child off a city street and tossing him in a car.

Surveillance video shows the five-year-old boy walking with his mother and siblings in Queens on Thursday evening.

A man is seen getting out of a car, running to the child, snatching him off the sidewalk and putting him in the backseat of a parked car.

The boy's mother is seen struggling to pull her son through the car's front passenger seat window.

The little boy was not hurt in the incident.

The mother, identified by local media as 45-year-old Dolores Diaz, said she did not know why someone would try to take her child and said her neighbourhood is safe.

Late on Friday, police arrested 24-year-old James McGonagle.

He has been charged with attempted kidnapping as well as other counts.

Police said they are also looking for a second suspect.