The woman was screaming for help as she was bundled into a car on Friday
Cleveland Police arrested the 31-year-old man from Redcar at lunchtime today after re-appealing for information yesterday.
They called for help to find suspects after it emerged on Sunday the woman in her thirties was kidnapped and raped in Redcar, North Yorkshire, on Friday over a six-hour period.
Detectives said "someone must have seen or heard" the women as she was screaming for help on the sea front near the boating lake which was busy with dog walkers and local workers on their lunch break.
Cleveland Police released a fresh appeal last night as they revealed a dark-coloured saloon car approached the woman and her child between 11.30am and 12.30pm via a ramp before two men got out and forced them into the back of the vehicle.
The victim was screaming for help as she was forced into the car. Someone must have seen or heard her
DCI Steve Young
The men drove down Turner Street onto Yearby on Longneck Lane off the A174 where the woman was raped.
Her child was not physically harmed, police said.
They were eventually forced out of the vehicle on Kirkleatham Lane, between the turn off from the Kirkleatham Museum and the bus stop towards Redcar, between 5.30pm and 6.30pm.
Police updated reporters in Redcar yesterday
Senior investigating officer, DCI Steve Young, said: "Our enquiries are continuing today into this horrific incident and our partner agencies are providing support to the woman and her child, who have obviously been through an extremely traumatic experience.
"We are carrying out extensive CCTV enquiries today. The area was busy at the time of the incident as people walked by with their dogs and local workers may have been on their lunch break.
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"The victim was screaming for help as she was forced into the car. Someone must have seen or heard her. Anyone at all with information is urged to call police."
Patrols have been stepped up in the area and police have emphasised "offences of this nature are extremely rare".
The patrols will continue for the foreseeable future and detectives are urging locals to approach officers if they have any information or concerns.
Cleveland Police have described the driver of the vehicle as a white male in his late twenties or early thirties, about 5ft 7" tall with short brown hair, of a large build with the world "love" tattooed on his knuckles.
Police cordoned off the area the woman and toddler were snatched from
Police are appealing for witnesses to come forward
The second suspect, who was the passenger, is described as a white man in his early twenties, about 5ft 5ins to 5ft 6ins tall of a medium build, clean shaven and with brown hair.
He had a local accent, police said.
Police have not clarified if the man arrested was one of the two men described.
Any witnesses or anyone who may have private CCTV in the area who hasn't already contacted police is asked to do so on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or www.crimestoppers-uk.org.