Washington Man Arrested for Attempted Kidnapping After Trying to Pick Up Child at Store


A Bellingham man was arrested on charges of attempted kidnapping after allegedly attempting to pick up a three-year-old child he did not know in front of their mother at a store, police said.

The mother told police on Saturday, March 25, she had never met the man and was afraid he was trying to take her child.

Kier Gardener, 38, attempted to pick up the child from underneath their armpits at a store in the 2400 block of Alabama Street, Bellingham Police Lt. Claudia Murphy told The Bellingham Herald in an email.

As the mother pulled her child away from Gardener and told him not to touch her child, Gardener reportedly replied that it was fine "because he liked kids." Gardener didn't leave the store until a store employee with a bat demanded he leave, Murphy said.

Gardener was contacted by police near Woburn and Alabama streets and took him into custody without incident, Murphy said. He remained in Whatcom County Jail Tuesday, March 28, with a bail of $150,000.