Woman arrested after trying to kidnap boy, 6, from Miami art gallery, police say

Owner of Swampspace Gallery confronted woman during incident

By Amanda Batchelor - Senior Digital Editor, Andrew Perez - Reporter

MIAMI - Miami police have arrested a woman Monday who they said tried to kidnap a 6-year-old boy last week from an art gallery.

Katherine Hatcher, 50, faces a charge of kidnapping.

The incident was reported shortly before 4 p.m. March 4 at the Swampspace Gallery at 3940 N. Miami Ave.

According to police, the child was at the gallery, visiting the owner and the owner's daughter when Hatcher entered the gallery through an open back door.

The owner, Oliver Sanchez, did not recognize Hatcher and asked her to leave, police said.

Authorities said Hatcher grabbed the boy by the arm and walked away with him.

"She firmly grabbed him by the arm and proceeded to walk away. I tried to stop them so we could talk and she just kept walking," Sanchez said.  

According to police, Sanchez was unsure whether Hatcher was related to the boy, so he contacted the Design District security to review surveillance footage and notify police.

The boy told police that Hatcher mumbled that she was taking him to his parents.

He also ran out of the gallery and confronted Hatcher, authorities said.

"She was saying that he didn't belong there, that she was family," Sanchez said. 

Police said Sanchez determined Hatcher and the boy were not related, so he grabbed the child and walked him back to the gallery to wait for police.

"It didn't feel right," Sanchez said. "Something was off about this person. They looked somewhat disheveled. They looked somewhat manic. The boy is a good kid. He's not street-hardened. He doesn't know how to react. He's 6 years old." 

Sanchez said the boy lives in the area and is shy, but sometimes visits the gallery. 

Surveillance video shows Hatcher walking away after the incident.

Officers received an anonymous tip that Hatcher was a resident of Camillus House, a homeless shelter, and brought her into a police station for questioning.

Police said they arrested Hatcher after Sanchez and the boy were able to positively identify her from a photo lineup.

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