Police Arrest Woman Who Allegedly Kidnapped Boy After Gallery Owner Rescued Him

Zachary Stieber
By Zachary Stieber
March 13, 2019US News
Police Arrest Woman Who Allegedly Kidnapped Boy After Gallery Owner Rescued Him
Katherine Hatcher, 50, was arrested and charged with kidnapping on March 11, 2019, a week after she allegedly kidnapped a 6-year-old boy in Miami, Fla. (Miami Police Department)

A woman who was captured on video kidnapping a boy was arrested after a gallery owner noticed something amiss and saved the child.

Katherine Hatcher, 50, was arrested and charged with kidnapping over the March 4 incident in Miami.

The Miami Police Department said that she walked into Swampspace Gallery through the back door.

A 6-year-old boy was at the gallery, hanging out with owner Oliver Sanchez and his daughter.

Sanchez asked Hatcher, who he described as disheveled and rambling about the boy, Saul, to leave. As she did, she grabbed the boy and forced him to go with her.

Sanchez sensed something was wrong and followed the pair.

“When I caught up to him about a half-block away, and I asked him to stop, ‘Let’s talk,’” Sanchez told WSVN. “Saul was, at that point, he was nervous, and I asked again, ‘Do you know her? Do you know her name?’ He didn’t know her. That’s when I broke her grip. She was going on about calling the cops, and I said, ‘I already did.’”

After that, Hatcher walked away without the boy.

Sanchez’s daughter Lucia Sanchez said that Hatcher had previously been seen approaching children.

Police praised Sanchez for his quick thinking.

“This was an example whether this man did the correct thing, and it turned out well. He didn’t know if this woman was armed. He didn’t know if her intentions were to cause harm, but he did the right thing. He got the kid safe, and we appreciate what he did,” Miami Police Officer Michael Vega said.

After her picture was circulated on March 11, police located her that day with the help of the public.

“Hatcher has been arrested and charged with kidnapping for the incident that occurred on March 4, 2019. Thanks to the anonymous caller who called to say where she was. Thank you,” police stated in an update.


The number of reported missing children significantly decreased in recent years, according to a report by the Department of Justice (pdf) in 2017. Reported missing children dropped from 6.5 per 1,000 children in 1999 to 3.1 per 1,000 in 2013.

Missing children typically fall into five categories: kidnapped by a family member, abducted by a nonfamily perpetrator, runaways, those who got lost, stranded, or injured, or those who went missing due to benign reasons, such as misunderstandings, according to the report.

Department of Justice researchers said in a separate report (pdf) published in 2016 that there were an estimated 105 children nationwide that were victims of stereotypical kidnappings, a number that was virtually the same as 1997.

“Most kidnappings involved the use of force or threats, and about three in five victims were sexually assaulted, abused, or exploited, the researchers said. Stereotypical kidnappings are defined as abductions in which a slight acquaintance or stranger moves a child at least 20 feet or holds the child at least 1 hour. Most victims were girls aged 12 to 17 and most perpetrators were men aged 18 to 35.

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