The little boy was walking with his nanny on 6th Street between Avenues A and B around 11 a.m. when the suspect grabbed him and tried to walk away with him.
Police say the nanny started to scream and grabbed the child away from the suspect.
The man then fled eastbound on 6th Street.
The boy was not injured.
Adding to the fear of area residents is that the scene is right near a school.
The suspect is described as a black man, 45 to 55 years old, with a slim build, about 5'6" to 5'8" tall, and wearing a brown hooded sweatshirt with writing on the front and faded black jeans.
Anyone with information in regards to this attempted abduction is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS.
You can also submit your tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers Website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or texting your tips to 274637(CRIMES) and then entering TIP577.