Police say the van was double parked in front of 2651 Jerome Avenue in the Fordham section at 1:05 p.m.
The mother says she parked in front of her flower shop and got out, walking to the other side to take her child out.
That's when police say Joseph Fuscaldo jumped into the driver's seat and took off, with the child still inside.
The boy's mother jumped in front of the vehicle to try to stop it as the suspect sped off.
Lucila Saaveda suffered a broken leg when she jumped in front of the minivan.
While she was rushed to the hospital, police and family members frantically searched and continuously called a cell phone left in the van until the smart little boy, strapped into his carseat, answered it.
"He tells me 'Im scared, where are you?'" sister Dallana Corona said.
About 45 minutes after the carjacking, the van was found a few blocks away and the boy was recovered.
Police say despite being exhausted from crying, the boy was fine.
Fuscaldo was placed under arrest on Monday.
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