A BRUTAL attacker held a syringe to the face of a 12-month-old baby in a bid to get the toddler's father to hand over money.
The sickening incident took place on November 8 when the 35-year-old father was pushing the buggy on the Red Barns Road in Dundalk shortly before 11am, and gardai are anxious to find the attacker before he strikes again.
The dad, who is a native of Co Louth but is not from the Red Barns Road area, was wheeling his young child at the popular walking spot when a man in a blue hoodie approached them.
He pushed a syringe against the toddler's face while he demanded money from his father.
The victim handed over around €200 to the hooded thug, who then ran off on foot.
The father and child were not physically injured in the attack, but the dad was said to be shocked and traumatised.
Gardai have shown him photofit pictures of possible culprits but no main suspect has emerged so far.
"It was a very scary attack, especially when the attacker used the young vulnerable child in the way they did," said a garda source
Gardai said the incident was terrifying for the man and have appealed for anyone with information to come forward.
Local independent town councillor Oliver Morgan said the incident was "a frightening attack on a man and his child who were in a vulnerable position".
"It has made people fearful, especially when it was a man and his child that were targeted in broad daylight. There are many young families living in the area around Red Barn's Road," he added.
"This is the first incident of this type that I have heard of happening there, and it is scary that it could happen at all," Cllr Morgan explained.
"I would like to see an increase in the garda presence around that area, especially because it is popular with walkers," he added.